Friday, July 11, 2014

THERESIENSTADT: THE DEFIANT ONES

http://video.pbs.org/video/2359070839/


 A wonderful & moving documentary was recently available on PBS, “Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance" The video concerns Rafael Schachter, a well-known conductor, who organized an inmate choir at Theresienstadt concentration camp, in the former Czechoslovakia, in order to raise spirits and maintain a positive focus, in spite of dire circumstances. A variety of musical events were created by Schachter and sung by the ever-changing choir participants, who were continuously deported to Auschwitz. In 1944 a final performance of Verdi's “Requiem Mass”, was sung by the Jewish prisoners to an audience of Nazis and the Red Cross, representing a condemnation of the Nazis and the horrific conditions under which the prisoners lived. In Rafael Schachter’s honor and as a tribute to the prisoner choir, a choral performance was recently organized at the former camp by another conductor, Murray Sidlin, and “Requiem” was again played, with former prisoners, tourists, etc. in attendance. Background on the video can be viewed at:   http://www.pbs.org/program/defiant-requiem-voices-resistance/

You can also view the video on "Netflix".