Music from the Urbisaglia camp: a song by Mosbach and Schwenk.
Music from the Urbisaglia camp: a song by Mosbach and Schwenk.

Music from the Urbisaglia camp: a song by Mosbach and Schwenk.

Last summer we received from Elio and Dario Cabib, sons of Renzo Cabib (1915-2004), interned in Urbisaglia from 05 July 1940 to 16 June 1942, a photograph of a manuscript kept by his father since the days of internment.

It is the score of a song entitled “Komm mein Schatz auf den Bocceplatz”, composed in the Urbisaglia camp on 17 July 1941 by two internees: Paul Schwenk, cellist, who composed the music, and Egon Mosbach, poet, who composed the words.

The song, written in the form of a march (Marschlied), tells of the happiness of the internees in receiving the visit of their companions to whom, with great irony, they can not wait to show the bowls field.

Two stanzas and the chorus remain. Unfortunately the third stanza is incomplete.

Komm mein Schatz

Paul Schwenk and Egon Mosbach both entered the Urbisaglia camp on 25 July 1940.

Schwenk escaped after 8 September 1943 and later worked in Emilio Winter’s firm Würstel Kuh together with Ernst Roedner, both his fellow internees in Urbisaglia. He died in the late ’70s.

Egon Mosbach was transferred to Grosseto in January 1943. Detained in the camp of Roccatederighi (GR), he was deported to Auschwitz. He did not survive the Shoah.

Below is a letter written by internee Rudolf Bratuz, on the occasion of Mosbach’s departure from Urbisaglia. The letter came to us thanks to her daughter Damjana Bratuz.

My dear Mosbach!

It’s winter. It’s one of the four seasons, but not very desirable and not very pleasant. It’s cold and snowing. The song of the birds is not heard; the sun does not warm and the flowers are missing. A strange silence reigns in this park, desert, where a few months ago it was full of life and consolation. The birds sang and the internees… strolled around, chatting, reading and whistling.

They rolled their bowls and the players’ voices rang out on the other side of the park. Now all is quiet, the accordion, the violin and the singing; no concerts. Autumn fled and joy fled and now friends flee from this lonely camp, abandoning us and moving away. 

In all parts the S.O.S.was sent: friends are sought to replace the missing. Will there be equal ones? Like the Pincherles and many others and like today’s leader, our poet Mr. Mosbach?

Small in stature, I would say almost as small as his wallet, but of a large and conscious heart was this our Mosbach. His deep understanding for his friends of whom he well understood the pain and suffering of his countrymen and found ways to amuse and distract them. He sang with his weak voice but it penetrated the hearts of those present who listened and clapped.

His songs, his beautiful poems about the Camp, the bowls, the loves, about all of us, our children and our wives. We thought we heard little Caruso and the newborn Gigli. Accompanied by the gypsy violin, the accordion and the divine singing of the birds, it represented a concert of the first order with the murmur of his listeners. Each of us forgot we were interned and unhappy. Even with all the surveillance our hearts were detached and fled with all speed towards our homes, our loved ones, embracing the children, the dear wives and the faithful acquaintances. For these hours of leisure, delight and family pleasure that we enjoyed in this camp, we must be grateful to this little man, of great intelligence and ability, of unsurpassed goodness of heart.

I personally wish him a good trip and a better luck. As for me, I also wish him to meet as soon as possible with his beloved wife Maria and their treasure, their pearl, Lily. Mosbach, be happy where fate will lead you.

Remember us as our hearts will remember you.

Your Rudi

On the occasion of the Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024, the song Komm mein Schatz auf den Bocceplatz will be performed by the male section of the Equi-Voci Choir of Urbisaglia, conducted by M° Cristina Picozzi.

We thank Paola Chinellato, Cristina Picozzi, and Mauro Navarri for the score transcription.

Click here to download the score