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"And if one does not believe in fate, let him, the coward, read Voltaire." (Diary, 5/25/1918)

   Joseph Rosenblum
Image of Joseph Rosenblum
Photo of Joseph Rosenblum, [1918]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: Field Artillery, Battalion C, 78th Division
Service Location: Camp Dix, New Jersey; Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont; Camp Devens, Massachusetts; Camp Upton, New York
Rank: Corporal
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Service diaries often record the banalities of everyday life in the military, or the visceral details of combat. Corporal Joseph Rosenblum’s diary stands in contrast: it begins with hand-lettered music notes and musings on Liszt and Chopin, which set the scene for the unique document which follows. Born in Romania and drafted into the Army in April 1918, Rosenblum served stateside with the field artillery. In between guard duty and 13-mile hikes, he found time to practice fugues and sonatas on the piano. Throughout his diary, he draws parallels between his experiences as a soldier and great works of literature, art, and music.

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  October 26, 2011
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