Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Much has happened and much has changed in the years since the end of World War II. Yet, there are all-too-frequent reminders that the lessons are not all learned, and continuing struggles to reckon with the implications for the Jewish people and humanity as a whole.
For Jewish musicians who escaped, survived, witnessed the Holocaust from afar, or even those that are a generation removed, grappling with the subject presents emotional and philosophical challenges. Does one have the right to use such tragedy for artistic expression? And how can one do so without exploiting or trivializing something that caused millions to suffer and lose their lives?
Our new virtual exhibit explores the internal and external forces that compelled many of the greatest Jewish music artists of the 20th century to create musical responses to the Holocaust. May the memories of the souls lost be for blessing. May the lessons be learned in our time and may they never be forgotten.