Shimon Krongold with his violin in his Warsaw apartment, 1924. At the request of Yaakov Zimmerman, Krongold would allow young Jewish violinists to practice in this very room. One was Michel Schwalbé, who grew up to become the concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. (Courtesy of Nadir Krongold.)
Shimon Krongold’s Violin. During the German occupation of Poland, Warsaw industrialist Shimon Krongold escaped with his violin to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he died of typhus. In 1946, a survivor from Tashkent returned the instrument to Krongold’s brother in Jerusalem. “This is the only memory that we have from him. The only memory and the only story about his life,” explains Shimon’s nephew Nadir, who never met his uncle. When Nadir brought the instrument to Amnon, the violinmaker discovered a label inside that reads: “This violin I made to commemorate my loyal friend, Mr. Shimon Krongold, Warsaw, 1924.” The dedication is signed by Yaakov Zimmerman, the man who had taught Moshe Weinstein how to repair violins more than 60 years earlier.