Strings of the Holocaust
text and images courtesy of Violins of Hope
Above: More than 60 violins of the Holocaust have been meticulously restored.
Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein has devoted 20 years to locating and restoring the violins of the Holocaust. Serving as a tribute to those who were lost, including 400 of his relatives, he calls them Violins of Hope.
“From February 3 – March 26, through lectures, concerts, and exhibits, these Violins of Hope will tell the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. The events transcend religious and other barriers to facilitate a community-wide dialogue about music, art, social justice, expression and the importance of cooperation and collaboration to achieve common goals.”
– Julee Landau Shahon, Violins of Hope Phoenix
Above: The Violins of Hope events include concerts and musical performances.
Above top: Golda and Moshe Weinstein. Bottom: The Moshe Weinstein Violin.
Born in a shtetl (“Jewish village”) in East Europe, Moshe Weinstein fell in love with the sound of the violin. It happened when a Klezmer troupe arrived in the shtetl to play at a rich man’s wedding. While all the other children gathered under the table to hide and steal sweets, Moshe was hypnotized by the sound of music. Inspired by the Klezmers, Moshe got a simple violin and taught himself how to play. He later studied at the music academy in Vilna, where he met Golda, a pianist. Both immigrated to Palestine in 1938.
Before leaving Europe, Moshe went to Warsaw to study with Yaakov Zimmerman to learn how to repair string instruments. Since most Jews play violins, thought Moshe, they would need a violin maker in the new land. After arriving in Palestine, he first worked in an orchard picking oranges and a year later opened a violin shop in Tel Aviv.
Loyal to the tradition of helping out young prodigies taking their first steps in music, he supported many talented Israeli children. Among them were Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman.
Above: The Zimmerman Krongold Violin.
Above: The Morpurgo Violin.
Above: The Zimermann Five Stars of David Violin.
Violinmaker Yaacov Zimermann worked in Warsaw and had many clients, both Jews and Christians. He was known to support young violinists such as Michel Swalbe and Ida Haendle, the child prodigy who became a world renowned virtuoso.This hand-made violin is outstanding because it is uniquely decorated with five Stars of David, four on the upper deck and one on the back. The decorations were made with glue mixed with black powder, probably made-to-order. Found in very bad condition, the varnish was almost non-existent, giving the impression of having been played mostly outside, rain or shine. Taking a year-and-a-half, the violin was meticulously repaired and now serves as a concert instrument.
Violins of Hope
February 3 – March 26
At Various Valley Localions
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Violins of Hope events include concerts, musical performances, films, documentaries, discussion groups, talks and photo exhibitions. These activities will take place from February 3 through March 26 at various Valley locations. For specific details on topic, date and time, please visit www.violinsofhopephoenix.com