Feivel Wininger (far right) with his five-piece band “Freedom to the Homeland,” ca. 1945. His daughter Helen is sitting in front of the bass drum looking up at her father. (Courtesy of Helen Wininger Livnat.)
Feivel Wininger’s Violin. In October 1941, Feivel Wininger and his family were expelled from thier homes and sent on a death march to the ghettoized Romanian territory of Transnistria. There, Feivel borrowed a valuable Amati violin from a former judge and played for Romanian officers and Ukrainian farmers in exchange for leftovers that he could bring back to his family. When the expensive violin was confiscated, a local farmer helped him buy a cheaper instrument in exchange for performing at a wedding. By playing the violin, Feivel was able to earn enough food, water, and precious firewood to sustain himself and 16 family members and friends throughout the Holocaust. Feivel immigrated to Israel, where he cherished the violin that had saved him and his family for the rest of his life.