Today, January 27th, marks the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Today I stood at the Holocaust Memorial to honor those who died with a violin solo I arranged. Having studied the Holocaust quite extensively, I almost feel as if I know some of the Jewish survivors. Their stories are written to declare to the future generations "Never Again"! The unimaginable suffering the endured, the unspeakable pain they went through pricks my heart as I realize how much this day must be remembered. As I stood at that Memorial, I was ready to cry. A hush fell over as I stood to remember and honor. It was an extremely emotional moment. Rena... Anita... Henryk... Danka... Elie... Witold... The countless names of those who died and of those who survived must not be forgotten. Their stories will live on. They will be remembered.
This piece is built off the Yiddish song Oyfn Pripetchik (By The Fireside) and moves through two of the melodies heard in Schindler's List, finishing with Hatikvah (The Hope). Oyfn Pripetchik is a song about a Rabbi teaching his students the Hebrew alphabet and one of the lines says, "When, children, you will grow older/You will understand/How many tears lie in these letters/And how much crying." A traditional Yiddish saying quotes "the history of the Jews is written in tears", but I wanted to end with the Hatikvah because Israel will live forever. As God's chosen people and the apple of His eye, no one will ever wipe them off the face of this earth. To all the victims of the Holocaust: This piece is for you.