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Violins from the Holocaust teach healing and hope

man playing violin
(Image: Focal Point)

“Violins of Hope” is a traveling exhibition of 50 violins that Jewish prisoners played in concentration camps and ghettos. Last fall, those restored violins were exhibited in museums and played in concerts across Virginia. The exhibition uses music to teach about the Holocaust, unite communities, and offer hope.

Pam Hervey and Roberta Oster reported this story.


Anthony Marques:  Good evening. My name is Father Anthony Marques and I am the rector of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is honored to host this concert whose harmony can inspire greater solidarity and respect among all peoples.

Sam Asher: It's about our family histories and memories. Through this exhibit we honor those who we lost and we remember them and their music.

Andrew Talkov: It allows us to learn from the past. It also allows us to understand our present and hopefully it allows us to plan for a better future that includes everyone.

Mary Lauderdale: African American history is American history. It is not just Black people's history. It is the country's history, same thing with Jewish history. They're all intertwined.

Avshalom Weinstein: Unfortunately from the tens of thousands Prokofiev instruments which were used during the war in the camps. And the vast vast majority is gone. And this is the sound and the music that some of those people had a chance to play. Some of them survived, some unfortunately didn't.

Sam Asher: This exhibit is one of those things where we stand together. And we talk about injustice, we talk about hatred and we say no we have to stop it. We have to be a beacon of hope as in a violin of hope to bring people together and stand up for what's right.