Yad Vashem Heartstrings. Music of the Holocaust

Before the Holocaust

Magdeburg, Germany. A destroyed music room in a synagogue, 10/11/1938Magdeburg, Germany. A destroyed music room in a synagogue, 10/11/1938
Vabalninkas, Lithuania, A Jewish orchestra of mandolins and guitars, 1932Vabalninkas, Lithuania, A Jewish orchestra of mandolins and guitars, 1932
Grodno, Poland, The mandolin orchestra of a Jewish school, 1932Grodno, Poland, The mandolin orchestra of a Jewish school, 1932

Many songs written before the Holocaust were performed during the Shoah because their content matched the spirit of the times. Songs about hunger, suffering, and longing were performed in the camps and the ghettos. However, one song, “Es Brent” (Our Town Burns), was frequently sung and became a prophetic song about the destruction of European Jewry. It was composed by Mordkhay Gebirtig and is presented in this compilation.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.