Watch me introduce a performance of “My Yiddishe Momme.” This was one of several Jewish melodies that violinist Feivel Wininger played in the ghettoized Romanian territory of Transnistria during the Holocaust to bring comfort to himself as well as to his friends and family members.
Watch me read excerpts from the fifth chapter of Violins of Hope. Chapter 5 discusses Feivel Wininger, who was able to spare sixteen family members and friends from starvation by playing the violin during the Holocaust.
Watch me introduce a performance of the Kirkenes March, composed by an exiled Jewish musician to celebrate the first Norwegian town to be liberated from Nazi tyranny. At the premiere of the Kirkenes March, the violin was played by Ernst Glaser, who is the subject of Chapter 4 of Violins of Hope.
Watch me read excerpts from the fourth chapter of Violins of Hope. Chapter 4 discusses Ernst Glaser, the Jewish concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra who used his musical influence to escape a Nazi riot during a concert in Bergen in 1941.
Watch me introduce a performance of “Three Warsaw Polonaises,” a work that was played by Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz. Since Polish music had been forbidden by the Nazi regime, the musicians would play the polonaises in secret. For the prisoners, playing the polonaises was not just a way of remembering their homeland. It was a way to show that they would not completely bend to Nazi prejudices.
Watch me introduce a performance of the “Dachau Song,” which was composed by Herbert Zipper in Dachau. Inspired by the “Work Makes You Free” sign that welcomed the prisoners back to camp every day after twelve hours of hard labor, the Dachau Song sarcastically encouraged them to “stay humane,” “be a man,” and “work as hard as you can,” regardless of the harsh realities of camp life.
Watch me read excerpts from the second chapter of Violins of Hope. Chapter 2 discusses Erich Weininger, who was imprisoned in Dachau and Buchenwald before escaping Europe for Palestine, where he was arrested as an illegal immigrant.
Watch me introduce a performance of the song “Vu ahin zoll ikh geyn” (Where shall I go?). During the Holocaust, the song became popular among Jews who had been forced from their jobs and their homes. Like the musicians of the Palestine Orchestra before Huberman’s intervention, they had nowhere to go.
Watch me read excerpts from the first chapter of Violins of Hope. Chapter 1 discusses the Jewish musicians who were dismissed from their positions in leading European orchestras, but rescued by Bronisław Huberman, who provided them with the legal and financial means to move safely to Palestine before it was too late.