Scrapbookpages Blog

December 7, 2015

Jews were forced to play the violin in front of a pile of bodies at Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:00 am
Jews playing in the orchestra at Auschwitz

Jews playing in the orchestra for a Sunday concert at Auschwitz in 1941

Look closely at the photo above.  Do you see any dead bodies lying around?

I previously blogged about the Jews playing for the Nazis at Auschwitz at

Today I am complaining about a recent news article headlined “Violins of Hope.” The article tells about the Jews being forced to play music for the SS men at Auschwitz while looking at a pile of dead bodies that was stacked in front of them.


The photo above shows the orchestra that played at Auschwitz as the prisoners marched in and out of the camp on their way to work.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote from news article:

The “Violins of Hope” we’re about to hear are from a time when hope seem to be all but lost. Serena Altschul has the story:

When members of the Cleveland Orchestra recently sat down to perform, they faced a daunting task. This would be no ordinary concert: It would take place in an historic synagogue, and it would be played on instruments that had rarely been touched in more than 70 years.

[Music: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.]

The goal was not just to make beautiful music, but to give voice to millions who were silenced in one of humanity’s darkest chapters.

“It’s for music,” said Israeli craftsman Amnon Weinstein. “It’s for violin. It’s for survivors. It’s for the Holocaust.”


Many of the instruments in Weinstein’s collection were used in concentration camp orchestras organized by the Nazis.

“And before the orchestra, in front of them, there was a pile of all these dead people,” said Weinstein. “And yet, they played. So the moment that the war was finished, they never touched the instrument again, most of them.”

In the camps, the violin could also be an instrument of defiance.

“It was forbidden to the Jewish to pray,” said Weinstein.” So, “the violin was praying for them.”

End quote

There was also an orchestra that allegedly played at Auschwitz-Birkenau. I blogged about that at

Did the Nazis really have orchestras playing in a death camp?  Yes, but there was always a pile of bodies for the musicians to look at while they played.  After all, they were playing in a “death camp.”