The sufferings of European Jewry under the Nazi regime were reflected in their musicand musical life. Music offered Jews a way to express their humanity in inhuman conditions, toescape from reality and give voice to their yearning for freedom, and to find comfort and hope.
In addition to private occasions at which Jews played music, sang, and even danced,music was performed publicly in some ghettos. Street singers performed in ód, Warsaw, andKraków, giving voice to the feelings of the ghettos¶ inhabitants.(10)But the music was misused for propaganda purposes and for the inhuman interests of theSS in the camps. Even in Auschwitz, that terrible place which today is a synonym for the crimesof the Shoah, there were several orchestras. (5) At one point, Auschwitz had six orchestras - thelargest of which, in Auschwitz I, consisted of 50 musicians. A women¶s orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau was made up of 36 members and 8 transcribers under the musical direction of thesinger Fania Fénelon. Treblinka, Majdanek, Beec, and Sobibór all had orchestras. (10)
Insome camps and killing centers, the Germans formed orchestras from among the prisoners and
Mauthausen Camp, 1943: Prisoners being led to their execution accompanied by the camp orchestra.pinktriangleproject.com