Past Exhibit

Music In Hell

Rough visual and audio representations, this exhibit examines the wide scope of the musical activities that existed before, during, and after the Holocaust: choirs, orchestras, and chamber groups that operated for months, and sometimes years, in the midst of the inferno. Whether a symbol of defiance, resistance or hope, music plays a transformative role in the lives of those who survived and the generations that followed.

It seems inconceivable to reconcile the possibility of listening to a full orchestra playing a classic symphony in the crowded Kovno ghetto in the 1940’s. It seems equally hard to picture how Jewish partisans in the forests of Bielorussia fostered a musical troupe that entertained them in hiding while on alert not to be detected by Nazi patrols. And how bizarre to contemplate Jewish music making in the Vilna ghetto when everyone inside knew that he or she could be next in the steadily scheduled Nazi selections?