Lenka Lichtenberg just won a Juno with her grandmother’s Holocaust poems

Lenka Lichtenberg at JUNOs 2023
Toronto artist Lenka Lichtenberg walks the red carpet at the 2023 JUNO awards, where her album of her late Holocaust survivor grandmother's poems from the Theresienstadt concentration camp near Prague, won the best Global Music Album of the year at a ceremony March 11, in Edmonton. (JUNOS Instagram)

It might be the first time that Holocaust poems have made it to the top of Canada’s most famous music award, the Junos. The poems were written in 1942 and 1943 by the grandmother of Toronto singer Lenka Lichtenberg, who found them only recently—by accident. She turned these haunting wartime verses into an album called Thieves of Dreams.

On March 11, the Junos—considered the Canadian version of the Grammys—announced that Lichtenberg’s album won best Global Music Album of the year. The ceremony was held in Edmonton, as part of a star-studded week that saw superstars The Weeknd, Michael Bublé and the Arkells also pick up statues.

Lichtenberg learned she was Jewish at age nine, and has recently begun resurrecting the stories of Holocaust survivors, including those who did not survive—such as her Czech grandparents and great-grandparents.

You’ll be able to watch the full awards ceremony on Monday night, March 13, at 8 p.m. on CBC TV, but Lichtenberg joined The CJN Daily right before she headed to Edmonton for the excitement.

What we talked about

  • Learn more about Thieves of Dreams and Lenka Lichtenberg from her website
  • Download the song lyrics and booket from Thieves of Dreams for free
  • Read about Lenka Lichtenberg’s career in the The CJN from 2018


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.