Music in hell: the Jews who were able to create art in the Nazi camps

Music in hell: the Jews who were able to create art in the Nazi camps

An Italian composer has been collecting composite works in Auschwitz and other extermination camps for years and will represent them in 2020

‘Work will set you free.’ That can be read at the entrance to Auschwitz, the best-known concentration camp in Nazi hell. However, nothing freed the more than six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. Nothing, except a small shelter found by some of the human beings who passed through there: music.

Now, almost 75 years after the release of those terrible places of extermination, an Italian composer and pianist, Francesco Lotoro, has brought to light some of that music. He has spent the last 30 years collecting information, looking for remnants of compositions and, even, completing himself that had been halfway.

The result, as he explains to CBS, is a miracle: “ The miracle is that this music comes to us. Music is a winning phenomenon. That is the secret of concentration camps. No one can take it away. No one can imprison him. ” And they are not minor compositions: “In some cases, we are facing masterpieces that could have changed the path of musical language in Europe if they had been written in a free world.”

The last testament

To date, Francesco Lotoro has been able to collect, organize and record 400 composite works in the concentration camps. Some authors have a name, such as Aleksander Kulisiewicz or Jozef Kropinski, while others remain anonymous as a piece by a Jewish woman from Auschwitz or another written by a Jewish musician in Theriesendtadt.

Lotoro, with the invaluable help of his wife, is the great architect of having found these remains, almost always spending his own money in the absence of aid. For him, “what happened in the fields is more than an artistic phenomenon. We have to think of this music as the last testament. We have to interpret this music like Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann. These musicians, for me, just wanted one wish: that this music can be interpreted.”

Therefore, it prepares a concert for the spring of 2020 where you can listen to some of these compositions, in some cases written even for large orchestras. His next goal is to create a large museum in his hometown of Barletta, in southern Italy, which will include a library, a theatre and a museum with more than 10,000 items collected by Lotoro. A gift for the next generation not to forget what happened a century ago in history.

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com