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Misha Veksler (1907-1943), a composer and pianist, conducted the Jewish theatre orchestra in the Vilna ghetto and composed many popular ghetto songs. A hunchback crippled by polio, he had to continually hide from the Nazis, who sought out those with handicaps for immediate extermination. Leyb Rozenthal (1916-1945) (words) wrote many songs during his years in the ghetto and is the author of a number of plays for revue theatres. Yisrolik tells the story of a child peddler. Written in the Vilna ghetto, it was first performed in January, 1942. Veksler; Rozenthal; and Rozenthal's sister Chayale, who participated in the first performance; were all active in the cultural life of the ghetto. When the Vilna ghetto was liquidated, Veksler was deported and killed at Ponar. Rozenthal died at the Dutmergen death camp. There were thousands of child peddlers in the Vilna and Warsaw ghettos. They provided a vital link with the outside, sneaking in and out by way of sewer pipes, climbing over fences, slipping past guards. They brought back food and other items from outside the ghetto walls, often bribing guards and officials with stolen goods. Once outside, they joined the many non-Jewish child peddlers on the streets. They were also messengers for the resistance. Most were eventually caught and shot. Yisrolik (voice and piano), audio sample MP3 (:28) from Leonarda CD #LE342