From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM): "For many victims of Nazi brutality, music was an important means of preserving and asserting their humanity. Such music—particularly the topical songs—also serves as a form of historical documentation. Like 'audio snapshots,' these works offer a telling glimpse into the events and emotions that their creators and original audiences experienced firsthand."
Music of the Holocaust: USHMM"This Web exhibition spotlights material in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Music Collection. The exhibition will change and expand in the coming months, so please check back from time to time."
Visit Music and the Holocaust"From Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 until the liberation in 1945, music played an integral role in daily life under Nazism. On this website, you can learn about diverse composers and musicians, including those who supported the Nazis and those who became their victims. Visit our music page for a wide range of sound recordings of music and songs, or explore musical life in ghettos and camps across Europe using our interactive map. You can delve more deeply into the subject of music and the Holocaust by exploring the themes on the right. Our resources section provides educational and reference material for further reading and listening."
"The songs that were created during the Holocaust in ghettos, camps, and partisan groups tell the stories of individuals, groups and communities in the Holocaust period and were a source of unity and comfort, and later, of documentation and remembrance."
Music with Holocaust reflections
The following composers are known to have constructed, performed, and/or recorded in reflection of the Nazi Holocaust:
Dmitri Shostakovish, "Symphony no. 13 in B-flat minor" ("Babi Yar"): YouTube audio
Ullmann, Viktor (Josef)"On 8 September 1942 Ullmann was sent to the Terezín concentration camp, where he soon became one of the leading figures in the music section of the so-called Freizeitgestaltung, the programme of organizing the inmates' ‘leisure’."
Terezin Music FoundationTerezín Music Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the musical legacy of the artists imprisoned in Terezín (Theresienstadt), a WWII Nazi concentration camp. In Terezín, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Viktor Ullmann, Hans Krasa, and many others composed and performed music that nourished their spirits amidst the great suffering all around them. As Ullmann famously wrote,
“Our will to create was commensurate with our will to live.”
I Never Saw Another Butterfly : San Francisco Girls Chorus Recording"Charles Davidson’s choral song cycle, I Never Saw Another Butterfly (1968), is one of many Holocaust-inspired musical works related to the Theresienstadt (Terezin) experience. It is also one of a number of settings, by various composers, of poems from the collection of the same title (in its 1964 English-language edition)—poems written by Jewish children imprisoned in that former walled city turned transit-concentration camp as they awaited removal to death camps."
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