Over the 70 years which followed the Shoah (Holocaust), numerous music scores of all styles have been found which were created in the Nazi concentration and death camps. These are testimonies of how talent, art, emotion, and beauty can triumph over evil.
Kate Hatmaker is the Co-founder, Artistic Director and Executive Director of chamber music concerts with innovative programming. Art of Elan will help organize a chamber music group to perform a concert of works composed by inmates in concentration camps and ghettos (such as Terezin. A repertoire of visual arts projection and literature will enhance the performance. ArtOfElan
On the fall of France in 1940, Messiaen was made a prisoner of war, during which time he composed his Quatuor pour la fin du temps ("Quartet for the end of time") for the four available instruments piano, violin, cello and clarinet. The piece was first performed by Messiaen and fellow prisoners for an audience of inmates and prison guards. He was appointed professor of harmony soon after his release in 1941, and professor of composition in 1966 at the Paris Conservatoire, positions he held until his retirement in 1978.
Ilse Weber (11 January 1903 6 October 1944) nee Herlinger, was born in Witkowitz near Mehrisch-Ostrau. A Jewish poet, she wrote in German, most notably songs and theater pieces for Jewish children. She married Willi Weber in 1930. She was voluntarily transported to Auschwitz with the children of Theresienstadt and killed in the gas chambers, along with her son, Tommy. Her most popular book was "Mendel Rosenbusch: Tales for Jewish Children" (1929).
During the Shoah (Holocaust), Jews produced art in concentration camps, in ghettos, or while in hiding. Unlike artistic production undertaken by outsiders in the name of propaganda, or to confirm the events after the killing had ended, art created by victims under Nazi domination may be viewed as a form of documentation, witnessing, and spiritual resistance that plays a very important historical role as evidence from the victim's perspective.
Samuel Bak was bom in 1933 in Vilna, Poland, a vibrant cultural center. He was recognized as a small child of possessing extraordinary artistic genius. When he was six years old. the Nazis invaded Vilna and Bak's world was shattered forever. Bak and his family were forced into the Ghetto where his painting career began at the age of nine. When Vilna was iberated in 1944, Bak was one of only 200 survivors from a once thriving community of over 80,000 people. Bak's life has been clearly marked by his pervasive haunting childhood memories of the Shoah. He says, "l carry in me today the survivor of the million of children that did not survive".
Stelnova Weissberger was bom in 1931 outside of Prague, Czechoslovakia. ln 1942, she and her family were deported to Terenzinstadt where they spent 3.5 years. Soon after her arrival, she was moved to the Children's Home L410. Theresienstadt was unique as Hitler's showplace for propaganda purposes. Ela studied art with Baulhaus artist, Friedl Dicker Brandeis, who filled children with hope and would only talk about beautiful things.
Ela also performed the role of the "Cat" in the children opera "Brundibar" which was used in the Nazi's propaganda film where Hitler gives a city to the Jews. Ela was one of the 100 children who survived at the end.
works by Peter Malkin, Dina Gottlebova Babbitt, Alfred Kantor
“DRAW WHAT YOU SEE” HELGA WEISSOVA: A CHILD DRAWINGS FROM THERESIENSTADT/TEREZIN
One month after her twelfth birthday, on December 10, 1941, Helga Weissova and her parents were taken from their Prague home and deported to the Theresienstadt/Terezin Ghetto. Shortly after being separated from her parents at arrival, Helga, an avid artist, managed to smuggle one of her drawings to her beloved father, Otto Weiss, in the men’s barracks at Terezin. Draw what you see, was her father’s response.
And so, from 1942-1944 Helga Weissova felt called upon to observe and capture in her drawings the everyday life of Terezin through a child’s lens. She drew her reality, and her dreams. In 1944, Helga and her mother, Irina Fuchsova, were deported to Auschwitz, three days after Helga’s father. Helga left her drawings with her uncle, who hid them and thus saved them.
Helga survived Auschwitz and was liberated May 5, 1945. She returned to Prague with her mother; her father had perished in Auschwitz. She studied at the
Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and became a professional artist whose art is known and has been exhibited throughout the world. At a recent exhibition of children’s art from Terezin, Helga shared these observations from her internment, “Unfortunately people have learned nothing. We must recognize our past. It is my fate, as one of the few survivors, to report to the following generations this dark time of history. Because there are no photographs of those days, drawings are the only visual documentation. I have created a permanent testimony of those times, one that ensures that the past should not be forgotten.”
Dedicated to Duke Kebow: Snowman. My first drawing in Theresienstadt. I secretly smuggled this drawing to my father in the barracks where the men were housed. He wrote back: Draw what you see December 1941
Like diaries and chronicles written during the war, early memoirs offer a sense of the diversity of Jewish life and Jewish responses to the German onslaught as well as the ethnic, religious, and political differences among the Jews caught in the genocidal web. They frequently focus on the details of everyday life under radically abnormal circumstances. In addition to the individual personality of the writer, these memoirs are shaped by the country, social class, education, age and the degree of Jewish identity and assimilation that the writer experienced prior to the war. As time progresses, the voices of child and adolescent survivors well into in their adult years by the time they write autobiographically is added to the accumulation of memory narratives, in the next wave of memoirs.
This stirring collection of diaries written by young people, aged twelve to twenty-two years, during the Holocaust has been fully revised and updated. Some of the writers were refugees, others were in hiding or passing as non-Jews, some were imprisoned in ghettos, and nearly all perished before liberation. This seminal National Jewish Book Award winner preserves the impressions, emotions, and eyewitness reportage of young people whose accounts of daily events and often unexpected thoughts, ideas, and feelings serve to deepen and complicate our understanding of life during the Holocaust. The second paperback edition includes a new preface by Alexandra Zapruder examining the book's history and impact. Simultaneously, a multimedia edition incorporates a wealth of new content in a variety of media,
including photographs of the writers and their families, images of the original diaries, artwork made by the writers, historical documents, glossary terms, maps, survivor testimony (some available for the first time), and video of the author teaching key passages. In addition, an in-depth, interdisciplinary curriculum in history, literature, and writing developed by the author and a team of teachers, working in cooperation with the educational organization Facing History and Ourselves, is now available to support use of the book in middle- and high-school classrooms.
Alexandra Zapruder was on the founding staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was writer and co-producer of I'm Still Here, an award-winning documentary for young people based on Salvaged Pages.
"Zog nit keyn mol" (Never Say; Yiddish: זאָג ניט קיין מאָל, [zɔg nit kɛjn mɔl]) or "Partizaner lid" (Partisan Song) is a Yiddish song considered one of the chief anthems of the Holocaust survivors and is sung in memorial services around the world. The lyrics of the song were written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, a young Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto. The title means "Never Say", and derives from the first line of the song.
Vilna Ghetto recalled in Yiddish Songs
There are so many contradictions in the organization of the Third Reich that it is only surprising at first thought to learn that theatres, both permitted and illicit, exist in the German concentration camps. The nature and extent of this theatre varies in direct relation to the conditions prevailing in a particular camp