Music amongst Displaced Persons

The Displaced Persons’ camps were home to a diverse range of musical activities. Surviving victims of the Nazi genocide used music as a means to chronicle what they had experienced, to raise morale, and to imagine possible futures after the catastrophe.

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Music for Memorial Events

Music has played a part in Holocaust commemoration from even before the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January 1945. Jewish Historical Commissions in Germany and Poland gathered songs written during the Holocaust, preserving them in written or recorded format.

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Babi Yar memorial

BABI YAR In 1962, the Russian poet Evgeny Evtushenko visited the site of Babi Yar, a deep ravine northwest of Kiev, where in September 1941 an estimated 70,000 Jews were executed by Nazi soldiers. Evtushenko returned to his hotel room and immediately penned a memorial poem in which the first line – 'There are no monuments over Babi Yar, the steep precipice, like a rough-hewn tomb'.

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Different Trains - Steve Reich

Steve Reich selected sound clips through digital sampling and then arranged them into a semi-coherent narrative, which divides into three movements: 'America, before the war', 'Europe, during the war' and 'After the war'. In all cases, the spoken testimonies are accompanied by a string quartet.

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Bergen-Belsen DP Camp

The Kazet-Theater (Concentration Camp Theatre) was headed by the actor and director Sammy Feder, and consisted of up to 50 actors, some of whom had already gathered experience and worked with Feder in the ghetto Bendin and the concentration camp Bunzlau.

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Dans les années tumultueuses qui ont suivi l'Holocauste, la musique est apparue comme une force puissante pour les survivants déplacés et un moyen pour le monde d'accepter l'insondable. Cette section explore la manière dont la musique a façonné l'expérience de l'immédiat après-guerre, depuis les camps de personnes déplacées jusqu'à la commémoration ultérieure.

Nous examinerons comment la musique a réconforté les survivants déplacés et leur a permis de conserver leurs identités culturelles religieuses et laïques. Nous nous pencherons sur l'émergence de compositions commémoratives qui ont tenté de faire face à l'ampleur du génocide. La musique est un élément puissant et important des événements de commémoration en l'honneur des victimes de l'Holocauste et des nombreuses façons dont la musique documente l'Holocauste.

David Botwinik


David Botwinik is a composer of Yiddish music and a music teacher. At the age of almost 13, he began his studies at the Yidisher muzik-institut conservatory in Vilna. Later, he studied at the Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia, Rome, Italy.

Mieczyslaw Weinberg


Le prolifique compositeur soviétique Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) a écrit 22 symphonies, 17 quatuors à cordes, 7 opéras, 6 concertos, 3 ballets, 30 sonates et plus de 200 chansons ainsi que 60 musiques de films et musiques de scène pour le théâtre et le cirque.

Mikhail Gnessin


Mikhail Fabianovich Gnessin était un compositeur et professeur juif russe. Les œuvres de Gnessin "Les Maccabées" et "La jeunesse d'Abraham" lui ont valu le surnom de "Glinka juif".

Steve Reich


In Different Trains (1988), Steve Reich presents a semi-autobiographical account of the Holocaust, electronically interweaving his memories as a Jewish child in the 1940s with those of Holocaust survivor children who later recorded their testimonies.


Recueil de chansons de Deggendorf

Le "Deggendorf Songbook" illustré est à la fois un artefact fascinant et un témoignage visuel de la vie culturelle et de la réinsertion sociale dans les camps DP.

Politique et propagande

Lapin Jojo

Ce cours explore l'association du symbolisme visuel et musical, en se concentrant sur la façon dont le film Jojo Rabbit utilise la musique populaire et les icônes visuelles et vocales de l'Holocauste.


La musique parmi les personnes déplacées

Les camps de personnes déplacées de l'Europe occupée de l'après-guerre abritaient une gamme variée de musiques utilisées comme moyen de raconter ce qu'elles avaient vécu.


La musique dans le camp DP de Bergen-Belsen

Les forces britanniques ont établi un camp de DP à Belsen, qui a existé jusqu'en 1950. Les concerts, le théâtre, la danse, la musique folklorique et d'autres genres de divertissements fleurissent.


On a heym, on a dakh ♫

On a heym, on a dakh (Without a home, without a roof) is a song that the 19 year old survivor, Ludwig Hamburger, learned while interned in Buchenwald.


On my birthday
The Germans walked-walked into Holland
Germans invaded Hungary
I was in 2nd grade
I had a teacher
A very tall man, his head was completely plastered smooth
He said, "Black Crows-
Black Crows invaded our country many years ago"
And he pointed right at me
No more school
You must go away
And she said, "Quick, go!"
And he said, "Don't breathe"
Into the cattle wagons
And for four days and four nights
And then we went through…

The idea for the piece comes from my childhood. [Due to my parent’s divorce], I travelled back and forth by train frequently between New York and Los Angeles from 1939 to 1942. […] While these trips were exciting and romantic at the time, I now look back and think that, if I had been in Europe during this period, as a Jew I would have had to ride on very different trains. With this in mind, I wanted to make a piece that would accurately reflect the whole situation.

'Heveti shalom aleykhem' (I bring you greetings of peace), also often titled in the plural, is one of the best-known and -loved Hebrew folk songs. In this rare recording it is sung by surviving Polish children in postwar France, in a recording taken by the Latvian-American psychologist David Boder in September 1946.