1. Standard memberScriabin
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    26 Mar '09 03:35
    US group re-creates Nazi death camp orchestra

    By VERENA DOBNIK

    Associated Press Writer

    When Gustav Mahler's niece greeted new arrivals at a Nazi death camp, she knew that any woman who stepped off the train with a musical instrument had a chance to live. Women in Alma Rose's orchestra were forced to entertain SS officers at the Birkenau concentration camp. All the women survived - except Rose.

    Now, an American chorus and orchestra is paying tribute to those musicians with concerts in the U.S. and Germany titled "Music in Desperate Times: Remembering The Women's Orchestra of Birkenau."

    On Saturday, Ars Choralis will play at Manhattan's Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, whose Episcopal bishop had spoken against the persecution of Jews in Europe already in 1933.

    During the 18 months the Birkenau orchestra existed, its musicians played pieces the German officers loved - Beethoven symphonies, Puccini arias, Chopin and Strauss waltzes. The women also had to play marches for emaciated, often sick prisoners as they struggled to walk to their forced labor jobs.

    All around was death - people perishing outdoors, or in filthy barracks and gas chambers. More than 1 million disappeared in this place of horror.

    When the Vienna-born Rose (pronounced roh-ZAY'😉 was sent to the camp, the SS guards realized she was Mahler's relative and had conducted an all-women's orchestra. She was asked to form one at Birkenau, for the pleasure of the Nazis.

    "As the women came off transport trains, if they had a guitar, a violin, a recorder or a mandolin, they were put aside," said Alice Radosh, who helped organize the Ars Choralis concerts. "People would hear classical music - and think, 'How bad could this be?'"

    The truth was, "we played with tears in our eyes and guns at our backs," Radosh quoted accordion player Esther Bejarano as saying after the war.

    They were still expected to play well - or face possible death.

    "At Birkenau, music was indeed the best and worst of things," wrote the late Fania Fenelon, a cabaret singer from Paris who wrote the book "Playing for Time," which was turned into a television movie starring Vanessa Redgrave.

    "The best because it filled in time and brought us oblivion, like a drug; we emerged from it deadened, exhausted," Fenelon said, "and the worst because our public consisted of the assassins and the victims, and in the hand of the assassins, it was almost as though we too were made executioners."

    With the orchestra, Rose saved more than 50 women, including Fenelon, who died in 1983; three are still alive.
  2. Joined
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    26 Mar '09 04:061 edit
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    US group re-creates Nazi death camp orchestra

    By VERENA DOBNIK

    Associated Press Writer

    When Gustav Mahler's niece greeted new arrivals at a Nazi death camp, she knew that any woman who stepped off the train with a musical instrument had a chance to live. Women in Alma Rose's orchestra were forced to entertain SS officers at the Birkenau concentrati n 50 women, including Fenelon, who died in 1983; three are still alive.
    I knew a female relative of Mahler's was in a concentration camp orchestra. I have never heard the details. Interesting and very tragic.
  3. At the Revolution
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    29 Mar '09 15:49
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    US group re-creates Nazi death camp orchestra

    By VERENA DOBNIK

    Associated Press Writer

    When Gustav Mahler's niece greeted new arrivals at a Nazi death camp, she knew that any woman who stepped off the train with a musical instrument had a chance to live. Women in Alma Rose's orchestra were forced to entertain SS officers at the Birkenau concentrati ...[text shortened]... n 50 women, including Fenelon, who died in 1983; three are still alive.
    Why the hell does everyone focus so much on the Nazi genocide without bothering to mention any of the stuff that's still actually happening?!? Get over it, Elie Weisel!
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    29 Mar '09 15:58
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Get over it, Elie Weisel!
    Stay classy San Diego.
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    29 Mar '09 15:591 edit
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Why the hell does everyone focus so much on the Nazi genocide without bothering to mention any of the stuff that's still actually happening?!?
    No one ever really cares that much about ongoing genocides - even the holocaust when it was going on.

    Countries in general don't go to war to end genocide.
  6. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '09 16:341 edit
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Why the hell does everyone focus so much on the Nazi genocide without bothering to mention any of the stuff that's still actually happening?!? Get over it, Elie Weisel!
    Because there are no relatives of the people who died in Sudan with significant influence in Washington. I strongly suspect that if the people who were persecuted during WWII were black then nobody would remember them. Wait a minute, the black people were persecuted and nobody remembers them!
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    29 Mar '09 18:30
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Why the hell does everyone focus so much on the Nazi genocide without bothering to mention any of the stuff that's still actually happening?!? Get over it, Elie Weisel!
    The levels of horror at the Nazi death camps were far worse than most genocides.
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    29 Mar '09 18:45
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The levels of horror at the Nazi death camps were far worse than most genocides.
    I doubt that. In what way? I recently saw images of people incarcerated in Zimbabwe who looked as emaciated as Nazi death camp victims.
    Manny death camp victims were merely gassed. That is hardly a higher level of horror than say raped then forced to eat your relatives as has happened in the Congo. In fact the organized death camps where immediate killing was carried out are if anything little different from the firing squads used in many other places. It is the ones where the inmates were kept alive and then starved to death that seem the most horrible.
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    29 Mar '09 19:37
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    US group re-creates Nazi death camp orchestra

    By VERENA DOBNIK

    Associated Press Writer

    When Gustav Mahler's niece greeted new arrivals at a Nazi death camp, she knew that any woman who stepped off the train with a musical instrument had a chance to live. Women in Alma Rose's orchestra were forced to entertain SS officers at the Birkenau concentrati ...[text shortened]... n 50 women, including Fenelon, who died in 1983; three are still alive.
    From a NY Times article:
    "Ars Choralis, a chorus and orchestra formed in 1966, has mainly performed local concerts, but is now receiving wider exposure. It will perform on Saturday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan and on April 19 at the former Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany, as part of the camp’s annual liberation day memorial service for Holocaust survivors."

    One has to wonder how much marketing had to play in the decision to re-create this orchestra. It's the times we live in.
  10. Donationkirksey957
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    29 Mar '09 19:39
    And now we come to this.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jvEQGC-6Sphy0U4Jj5DDgCazGE0gD977RUJ00
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    30 Mar '09 01:12
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Because there are no relatives of the people who died in Sudan with significant influence in Washington. I strongly suspect that if the people who were persecuted during WWII were black then nobody would remember them. Wait a minute, the black people were persecuted and nobody remembers them!
    So true. There weren't too many blacks in the Reich at the time though. It's people like Foxman, who use the Nazi genocide as a means of justifying Israeli genocides.
  12. At the Revolution
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    30 Mar '09 01:12
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The levels of horror at the Nazi death camps were far worse than most genocides.
    Maybe you'd like to go on the Bataan, then? Or the Soviet gulags. It doesn't matter that Stalin killed 5 times the number that Hitler did, just worry about what the Zionist lobby tells you.
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    30 Mar '09 08:361 edit
    Originally posted by scherzo
    So true. There weren't too many blacks in the Reich at the time though. It's people like Foxman, who use the Nazi genocide as a means of justifying Israeli genocides.
    there were plenty of Muslims who served the Nazis, were there not my friend, and you are correct, the Holocaust continues to be used as political capital.
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    30 Mar '09 13:47
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    there were plenty of Muslims who served the Nazis, were there not my friend, and you are correct, the Holocaust continues to be used as political capital.
    There were very few Muslims who served the Nazis. And don't trumpet that "Mufti of Jerusalem" crap; yes, the Mufti met with Hitler; and many Zionist leaders met with Adolf Eichmann. The Zionists were more willing to collaborate with the Nazis than the Mufti was with Hitler. You can't just take a picture of two people meeting and apply a ridiculous connotation that implies that they somehow agreed ideologically.
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    30 Mar '09 18:36
    Originally posted by scherzo
    There were very few Muslims who served the Nazis. And don't trumpet that "Mufti of Jerusalem" crap; yes, the Mufti met with Hitler; and many Zionist leaders met with Adolf Eichmann. The Zionists were more willing to collaborate with the Nazis than the Mufti was with Hitler. You can't just take a picture of two people meeting and apply a ridiculous connotation that implies that they somehow agreed ideologically.
    there were whole SS battalions dedicated to the Nazi cause, so please do not let us kid ourselves. at present i am in consultation with my friend, who just happens to be an expert on the SS and the third riech, so i guess your in for a roasting! perhaps we could start with the Bosnians and the Turks, then move on to the Arabs, then..... would you like me to document their acts of atrocities for you to deny?
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