Josephine Alexandra Mitchell who was born in 1903 was Ireland’s first female saxophonist and played in jazz bands under the stage name Zandra.
Her music career took her to Germany where she witnessed firsthand the transition from the artistic freedom of the Weimar Republic, to the cruelest excesses of the Nazi regime from Kristallnacht, to Hitler’s public speeches.
Writing to her Irish parents in 1935 she spoke of the government closing down dancehalls and banning music.
She was one of only forty Irish citizens who remained in Germany during the Second World War and her diaries and letters from the period provide an insight into the period from a new perspective.
In this programme Marc Mc Menamin tells Zandra’s story with the help of a number of guests including Donegal postmaster Michael Gallagher who inherited Zandra’s collection of memorabilia.
(First Tx. 25th December 2015)
RTÉ lyric fm, Friday 1st July, 7.02-8pm