Posted by: Naomi Baltuck | October 28, 2018

Depth Perception

Writing Between the Lines

Last Tuesday we went downtown to attend a concert at Benaroya Hall, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

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The performance was called Art From Ashes, and was produced by Music of Remembrance.

I had mixed feelings about going.

It was a wet cold day in Seattle.

The city seemed dirty.

…And sad.

It would be heartbreaking to listen to works by Jewish composers whose lives and legacies were cut short at the death camps of Auschwitz and Dachau.

But the music proved more poignant than heartbreaking.

These doomed artists plumbed the depths of their despair, gleaned beauty from their cruel twisted world, and imbued their swan songs with love and longing.

Each note, each word a parting glance, a declaration of love, a prayer…

“…Tearfully stolen from the distant west, a gentle pink ray on the thin twigs, settling its quiet kiss on tiny leaves..”

As Jake Heggie wrote in his song Farewell, Auschwitz, they cast off their…

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Responses

  1. I have listened to the music of some of the composers who perished in Auschwitz and other camps…..Gideon Klein, Hans Kráza, Victor Ullmann etc A – a very sad loss. I have read Primo Levi, Eli Wiesel, seen some of Nuit et Bruillard, so when I found myself in the vicinity of Oswiecim I declined to visit as I felt it disrespectful to the dead….

    • Hi Sue,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I understand your reaction. We had been to Schindler’s factory, which had been turned into a museum, the ghetto in Krackow, the Berlin Memorial and museum, the ghetto in Vilnius and we had one more day, which we we had planned to spend at Auschwitz, but we were so overcome that we just couldn’t do it.

      • And I understand your point…


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