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Collaborative work by renowned musicians Yishai Sweartz (Tomorrow’s Rain) from Tel Aviv and Mona Mur from Berlin culminates in the creation of “Clouds Of War.” Inspired by the life and diary of Yishai Sweartz’s grandfather, WW2 Partisan Moshe Szniecki, this project intertwines evocative spoken word and captivating experimental arrangements.

Reflecting on the project’s genesis, Yishai shares, “The idea for ‘Clouds Of War’ began with the profound stories recounted in my grandfather’s diary. During World War II, 17-year-old Moshe Szniecki left his hometown when all other members of his family were murdered by Nazi hordes. In the depths of the Belarusian forests, Moshe joined a Partisan group and fought boldly.” Guided by what he called ‘The Codes of the Woods,’ Moshe survived. “He made it to Israel, married, and had a family with his wife Hanna and two daughters. He died peacefully at 94, at ease with himself. He survived” – elaborates Yishai.

“The ‘Codes of the Woods’ were Moshe’s survival principle,” notes Yishai. In the summer of 2021, a creative synergy sparked between Mona Mur and Yishai Sweartz. “Simultaneously translated into English, these texts of great directness and stunning consequence were recorded on a smartphone and sent to Mona Mur in her Berlin studio KATANA. Mona used these recordings as core material, their rough quality and darkly intense attitude being an advantage.” Creating layers of other voices, Mona Mur incorporated her well-recognisable musical elements into the compositional structure on the record. Adding self-designed sounds, guitar-work and signature electronics.

“To me, music is a sacred art form. You can transmit and connect on a level of empathy. Violence, cruelty, greed, ego, hate, contempt, hostility dissolve for a fleeting moment that still might change things profoundly.” – explains Mona Mur reflecting on the conceptual side of the collaboration that lead to the release of ‘Clouds of War’. “What is the right look at the atrocities of war, holocaust, genocide ? Moshe Shnitzki, 17 years old, had to transform in a split second, in order to survive, from a pious teenage boy into a warrior. Fight back or die, head into the deep dark forest, leave a civilization that failed to rise up to its proper meaning. And survive. How does that feel, how does that sound ? This is what “Clouds of War” is about.”

As the production developed further, singer Anja Huwe, known for her work with X-mal Deutschland, brought her distinctive voice and artistic insight to Moshe’s story in her musical solo album. “One beautiful spoken word piece of hers enlightens the pitch-black clouds cycle like a faint ray of spring in the darkest of times,” describes Yishai.

The resulting body of work, “Clouds Of War,” stands as a testament to the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity. Renowned German art house director Elfi Mikesch prominently features “The Moshe Song” in her documentary movie ”War or Peace”(Filmgalerie 451, 2024). The album is coming out June 20 via Soleilmoon Recordings. Pre-order here or here

Yishai Sweartz – Musician, performer and music promoter from Tel Aviv, Israel, vocalist of the bands “Tomorrow’s Rain” and “Nail Within“ and the avant-garde dark ambient project “Thy Mesmerized”. A frequent collaborator of a large number of artists including Mille Petrozza (Kreator), Attila Csihar(Mayhem), Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell), Gregor Mackintosh (Paradise Lost), Michael Denner (Mercyful Fate / King Diamond) and many others. Yishai has promoted hundreds of Rock and Metal shows in Israel for more than 25 years.

Mona Mur – Singer, musician, composer, producer, creates her unique world of high intensity, Rock ‘n’ Roll spirit, electronic atmospheres and orchestral walls of sound. Famous for her collaborations and live shows with the likes of FM Einheit (Einstürzende Neubauten), En Esch (KMFDM), Grzegorz Ciechowski (Republika), JJ Burnel (The Stranglers) as well as for her film music (“Last Exit: Space”) and video game soundtracks (“Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days”), she stands for a radical artistic approach to life and music. “The artist has to stick the finger right into the wound.”

Full name: Moshe Szniecki, born 1924 Father: Jacob Mother: Roza
Original address: Torgowaya St no. 7, Baranowicze, today called Kalinina St
Father’s childhood address: Olenska St no. 20, today called Smolenskaya St
Mother’s childhood address: Shoseinaya St no. 244, today called Brestskaya St

In 1940, the echoes of war were well heard in the city. Being a kid, Moshe talked to his parents
repeatedly about the worst to come. At the time, his parents who were very religious refused
to take risky action, saying, if need be, they will die “by the grace of God”.

In June of 1941, a Ghetto was created for the Jews in the city (population of about 12,000 then).
Moshe once again asked his parents to escape, his mother Roza was concerned about life in the
forest while maintaining their religious restrictions and preferred to stay put, not fully believing what is yet to come. His father, Jacob said to Moshe:” Where mother is, is where I am, but we understand, and you have our blessing”.
On his way to the forced labor location, where he was sent to work for the Germans daily,
Moshe made his escape into the forest, carrying a gun he had managed to steal.
The slaughter in the Ghetto began soon after.

In the first months, he joined foreign partisans in a non-organized way in the woods surrounding the city – that’s how he was able to get in and out of the Ghetto several times without being caught. At one of these occasions, he had to witness the death of Jews in the Ghetto
including a few of his family members.
He escaped back to the woods and never returned, and he swore to survive and take revenge.

In December 1942, the final slaughter took place in the Grabowiec forest near the Ghetto, all were killed.

By that time, Moshe was already well organized with various brigades trying to come together.
There were the famous Bielski brothers’ gang and several other brigades, mixed with non-Jewish partisans.

Moshe’s brigade was called “Chapaiev”, as they had Russians there as well.
They moved around in the woods, changing their location often as they were busy actively retaliating against the Nazis, blowing up the railway tracks. Moshe had the European German look, so he often did acts in “return”, at that point they had Nazi uniforms, weapons, and everything they needed to do it, they put bombs under the trains when they knew the SS troops were about to arrive, they even entered the SS military base dressed as ‘Nazis’, did the “work” and escaped. Moshe, knowing German and looking the way he looked – it was pretty easy to believe he is not Jewish.

The average temperature was between minus 10 to minus 30 Celsius in winter. They had to build
their own shelter bunker places again and again every time they moved. The movie “Defiance”
about the Bielski brothers in the forest has a great scene of 30 minutes about the social life there – although in Chapaiev it was different, the brigade was mixed with Jews and non-Jews. They had
songs, anthems, a kind of homemade “uniforms”, some people got married in the forest to women
they had met in the forest while practically being still married to other women. It was a jungle.

Can you imagine coming to Israel after everything described here without being an alcoholic, violent, traumatized? Well, here’s a proof you can live a life after death:
Moshe joined the new country’s army, got a higher education at the Technion in Haifa,
developed a career as a measurer engineer for the national electricity company,
got married, raised a solid family with two daughters – one of them is my mother,
he called her Roza, in his mother’s name – and lived a peaceful life ‘till almost 95 years old,
died peacefully without any disease.

Just a few hours before his death he told his wife Hanna: “I’m going to sleep.”
– which he always did between 14:00-18:00 every day – and she was “Ok, Moshe.”
Then he said: “My mother is calling me, she waits for me.”
He went to sleep and never woke up again.

On his gravestone marble, we wrote:
“A Partisan and Warrior for Life”.

— Yishai Sweartz


01. By the morning, it started
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

02. Meet Again
(Words/Music: Mona Mur)

03. Clouds of war – Schmerz
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Mona Mur, Music: Mona Mur)

04. Blink of an eye
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

05. Komm in mein Boot
(Words & Music: Rammstein)
– You’ll die at sea
(Words: Latinos)

06. Orlowski
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

07. Noch bist du da
(Words: Rose Ausländer, Courtesy of Nachlass Rose Ausländer)

08. Animals in a cage
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

09. Moshe’s Song
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

10. Not welcome in the forest
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

11. Mama’s words
(Words: Yishai Sweartz/Music: Mona Mur)

12. Piano Outro
(Music: Mona Mur

13. Hiroshima Intro
(Music: Mona Mur)

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