The road ends, but the journey continues...

Giving Voice: Violins of Hope

Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018
(begins – sundown 4/11)

 

Amnon Weinstein with a restored Star of David violin

Amnon Weinstein with a restored Star of David violin*


Quote symbolFor Jews enduring utter despair and unimaginable evil during the Holocaust, music offered haven and humanity. The strains of a beloved song supplied solace, even if only for a few moments. The chords also provided a vital reminder that even the most brutal regime could not rob them of their faith. No matter what, their souls could be free.
In some cases, the ability to play the violin spared Jewish musicians from more grueling labors or even death. Nearly 50 years ago, Amnon Weinstein heard such a story from a customer who brought in an instrument for restoration. The customer survived the Holocaust because his job was to play the violin while Nazi soldiers marched others to their deaths. When Weinstein opened the violin’s case, he saw ashes. He thought of his own relatives who had perished, and was overwhelmed. He could not bring himself to begin the project.
By 1996, Weinstein was ready. He put out a call for violins from the Holocaust that he would restore in hopes that the instruments would sound again. (from: Violins of Hope)

*Photo by Debra Yasinow

24 Comments

  1. JEN Garrett

    Music has a way of soothing the soul, doesn’t it? I love this post because I didn’t know about the violins. I knew about the slaves’ music in America, having the same healing balm amidst adversity. Sad so many people are tortured in various ways for being born a certain way.

    • laura bruno lilly

      So true…
      Thank you Jen for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Gabriel Batarseh

    The Holocaust was tragic. We should also remember the Palestinian refugees.

  3. Jane Chesebrough

    Just got to this today. Very moving, powerful.

    • laura bruno lilly

      So much is spoken through those violins even now.

  4. Cindy

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. Jill Weatherholt

    Such a beautiful and moving piece, Laura. Thanks for sharing.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re more than welcome, Jill.

  6. Jennie Fitzkee

    Thank you, Laura. A powerful and important story. The violin… in the words of Hans Christian Anderson, “Where words fail, music speaks.”

  7. Deborah Brasket

    Heart-piercing music that breaks your heart in so many ways. Yes, we must never forget.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The Holocaust from the perspective of the musicians and their spirit living on through their instruments…

  8. Janis

    Very moving. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • laura bruno lilly

      No matter what, the spirit lives on…

  9. Irene Olson

    Thank you for bringing this story to our attention, Laura. So much cruelty has existed in the world and truly, unfortunately, said cruelty will continue. Let us strengthen the loving kindness that exists within each of us so that kindness will reign, instead of hatred.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Irene, excellent sentiment and I know you live that to the best of your ability.

  10. Mary

    Thanks for an inspiring post

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for your consideration of it.

  11. Andy

    I think music is the most emotive of all the arts, and in that setting even more so.

  12. L. Marie

    What a beautiful project. Just listening to the music in the video was incredibly powerful and incredibly sad. I could feel the sadness welling up within me.

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