Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preserving Jewish Music Composed In The Concentration Camps

Justin Shubow has a post in Contentions about the efforts by one man to single-handedly preserve all of that music:
An article in yesterday’s Le Monde (in French, hélas) recounts the mission of Francesco Lotoro, an Italian Jewish pianist and conductor who for over 17 years has been searching for and organizing all of the music written in internment and concentration camps between 1933 and 1945. (Earlier articles in English on the subject can be found here and here.) Considering himself a “smuggler” who is passing this music to the world outside the camps, so far he has collected 4,000 pieces, including everything from cabaret to operetta to sacred music. Of particular interest are the works of Rudolph Karel, a member of the Czech resistance who scratched morceaus in coal on toilet paper in Theresienstadt, where he died.
Shubow notes that Lotoro is doing all of the research necessary completely on his own--and without any outside financial help:
It’s hard to believe that there is no cultural association, Jewish or otherwise, that would be interested in helping to fund his project.
It is a horrible oversight that needs to be corrected.

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