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published: April, 2002

Archives & Museum Informatics, 2002.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License


Music of the Holocaust
Bret Werb, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, USA

Demonstration: Demonstrations 2

Music was heard in many ghettos, concentration camps, and partisan outposts of Nazi-controlled Europe. While pre-war songs remained popular, the ghetto, camp, and partisan settings also stimulated the creation of new works. These included topical songs, songs of personal expression, and classical music. For many victims of Nazi brutality, music making was a fundamental means of asserting their humanity. Many hoped too that their music, created and performed in extremis, might survive as a form of historical documentation. The "Music of the Holocaust" web exhibition draws on documentary material collected within the music and recorded sound archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It features rare recordings of survivors performing songs learned during the war as well as a selection of music written in response to the Holocaust and to commemorate its victims. Currently comprised of twelve selections of music, the exhibition will expand over time to reflect the range of Museum's collection.