Literature of the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis
Music at Terezin
The touring exhibition that deals with a variety of art forms (including music) that the Nazis felt contained degenerate elements has nothing to do with the Therezin music. Kurt Weil was considered a degenerate composer. Klein and the entire Therezin composer group (which I think consisted of at most 4 or 5 people) were never important enough to be considered degenerate. They were simply Czech musicians (I think they may have all been Czech) who happened to wind up in Therezin, and did amazing music things there. They help organize concerts, stage entire operas, they composed, played, etc. There is an especially tragic case of having to cancel a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah because the entire chorus was sent off to die in gas chambers. A complete performance of The Bartered Bride was done and conducted by Karel Ancerl who later conducted the Toronto Symphony. It was Ancerl who conducted many of the works that were first done in Therezienstadt, and I mean that he conducted them there, while he himself was in prison. He survived to describe the events and he even was able to help in the reconstruction of the works of one of the composers because he saved the orchestral performance parts.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Terezin-Cabaret web site
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