Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the survivors in the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945.  Sadly, 6 million Jews and 5 million others were put to death by the Nazis.

Many of the prisoners who died during the War were musicians.  Their talent bought them a few years of life entertaining the Nazis, but most eventually died.  A recent CD compilation brings to life the music of these musicians as well as those imprisoned by the Allies.  The KZ Musik Project pulled together archival resources from all over Europe, including the music of both Jews and Christians who were imprisoned:

The set comprises 24 CDs  numbered Compact Disc 21627-21650.

Some composers of note:
Viktor Ullmann, 1898-1944, was a Hungarian Jew who perished at Auschwitz.  From 1942-44, he was one of the musicians who provided entertainment in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in what is now the Czech Republic (also known as Terezin).  He had been a student of Arnold Schoenberg.

Gideon Klein, 1919-1945, was a Czech pianist and composer.  His music has been compared to that of Alban Berg.

Pavel Haas, 1899-1945, was a Czech composer who was befriended by Gideon Klein at Theresienstadt and later died at Auschwitz.  Before the war he composed film music as well as music in many other genres.

Sikmund Schul, 1916-1944.

See also:
Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, by Michael Haas
ML 3776 .H32 2013

Music in the Holocaust: Confronting LIfe in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps, by Shirli Gilbert
ML 3776 .G55 2005

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