Pieces composed in Nazi concentration camps are heard for first time in Jerusalem, after decades-long quest by Italian composer and pianist
At 85 – and given the powerful emotions of the moment – it would not have been surprising if Aviva Bar-On’s voice had wavered. But as she sang in clear tones in front of an audience of 3,000 people in Jerusalem on Sunday night, it was easy to imagine the nine-year-old Nazi concentration camp prisoner she was once was.
Bar-On performed a song she committed to memory more than seven decades earlier in Theresienstadt camp in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Composed by the Jewish poet and musician Ilse Weber, who was later gassed at Auschwitz, the song had never been heard in public.
The musical life of the camp was very rich. There were famous opera singers and high-ranking musicians
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