Music in Concentration Camps

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by KGregorek
Last updated 6 years ago

Arts & Music

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Music in Concentration Camps

•Alma Rose was an Austrian violinist of Jewish descent. She was born November 3rd, 1906 and died in a concentration camp on April 5th, 1944. Alma Rose was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau in July 1943, from holland where she was performing concerts. While she was in the camp she directed an orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to help other Jewish musicians stay alive.

Music in Concentration Camps

Gideon Klein was a Czech pianist and composer of classical music. He was born on December 6th, 1919 in Prerov, Czech Republic and died on January 27th, 1945 in Fürstengrub subcamp. Gidion Klein was first brought to Auschwitz but then later transfered to Fürstengrub in October 1944. While he was in the Camp he created his peice Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello, this was in 1944.

Many Concentration camps had orchestras during the holocaust. The first orchestra in Auschwitz was started in December of 1940. The orchestras where started because the Nazi men were trying to break the prisoners mentally by making them listen to/play the music that they hated ( Nationalist, soldier, and Nazi songs). They would sing while they marched, exercised, and during roll call. The orchestras would play during executions, when they would march to labour and also on some other occasions.

The Orchestra would be forced to play cheerful music, even when the jews were being sent to the gas chambers.

Being part of the orchestra helped some people live. The Nazi's liked the having the orchestras, so they kept the people. But this also ment that they would have to play music for everyone else who was killed, for their families and friends deaths.

Żywulska was a schooler at a Jewish gymnasium before she went into law. She was born on September 1, 1914 in Łodz, Poland and died August 1, 1992 in Düsseldorf, Germany. During World War II she was relocated into the Warszawskiego Ghetto. She once said “we often returned from the field with a comrade‘s corpse in our arms and had to march to the beat of the music with our left leg." She lived past the end of the war and has composed a few songs.


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