Herbert Zipper Archives

The Herbert Zipper Archives at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences contains the personal papers, correspondence, books, photographs, music scores, recordings, artworks, and memorabilia of Dr. Herbert Zipper. The mission of the archives is to preserve materials from the extraordinary life of Herbert Zipper and ensure that his legacy remains available to future generations.

Born in Vienna in 1904, Zipper was a classically trained musician, conductor, and composer who survived Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps and later internment by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. Until his death in 1997, Zipper taught composition and music theory at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, helping shape the school’s longstanding commitments to the importance of arts education. When he passed away, his personal papers were donated to the school.

The collection honors an individual whose life inspires us to the highest affirmative values of humanity in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges—or as Zipper and Jura Soyfer’s Dachau Song insisted from the depths of Dachau, to “be humane, remain human” in spite of the inhumanity we may find around us. The collection also houses a reference library of some 2000 works on Austria, World War II, the Holocaust, the Philippines, China, American and European art, music, and history, and other subjects related to his remarkable life.

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Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences provides a unique K-12 program built on a progressive, developmental model of education.