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Early Life

AFJ aged 3

Fleischmann was imbued with the tradition of the movement that they embodied: the Irish cultural revival. When he was born, Ireland was still under British rule.
He had personal recollections of the Troubles. His father was interned as an alien when he was six. He was terrified one evening in 1920 to see British soldiers
with blackened faces on the roof creeping past his attic window to raid the house next door. Militant Cork republicans with an interest in the arts, such as the MacSwineys, the MacCurtains and the Stockleys were friends of his parents – but so was Lord Monteagle, a musician from an Anglo-Irish family.

He learned early on that the arts can form bridges between people of very different persuasions. His youth coincided with a time of decisive change. He was eleven
when Ireland became independent; he began his studies in University College Cork at the end of the first decade of the Free State; he was doing postgraduate
studies in UCC when de Valera won the elections of 1932. Six months after his arrival in Munich to study at the Academy of Music and the university, Hitler's Nazis
came to power: "Aryans only" notices soon began to appear on campus. He had the privilege of being taught composition by Joseph Haas, of attending lectures given
by Thomas Mann, of hearing music by Richard Strauss, Bruckner, and Schönberg. Nevertheless, the situation in Germany and the offer of a university post
in Cork brought him home in 1934.

It was during his formative time in Munich that he discovered where he belonged. In Germany he rediscovered his Irishness and resolved to spend his life in the small place where he had grown up. There he was to work with others to try and generate a richer cultural life. This he believed was essential if the city was to cease to be
a place from which gifted people had to flee in order to develop their talents.