The famous Jewish neuroscientist Oliver Sacks suggested that “music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring it’s memory.” It comes as little surprise then that music was a powerful mode of resilience and resistance for Jewish people during the Holocaust. Its evocative capacity filled hearts with hope, provided outlets for complaints, and bonded people together through their suffering.
And yet, music was also used as a weapon against Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Officers at extermination camps, for example, coerced orchestras of prisoners to play while their friends and family were destroyed. In Terezin, in former Czechoslovakia, music made by enslaved people was used to convince the world of the humane conditions of their enslavement.
By contrast, partisans and resistance fighters across Europe used the popularity of song to urge people to continue their struggle against tyranny. From hits that emanated in the Yiddish theater to military-style marches, Jews kept in captivity or fighting in the forests accessed a broad range of songs to tap into their own agency.
In this program, the klezmer group A Band’n All Hope will provide a broad range of songs that emerge from this era while providing historical insights about the origins of lyrics, melodies, and the stories that the tunes can tell.
In partnership with Ovation Chai Point.
A Band’n All Hope plays traditional and modern Klezmer, Yiddish theater, Israeli dance and t’filah music. All the music they play has some kind of tie to Judaism.