I am sure many of my readers are either traveling for or preparing their Passover holiday. I am heading down south with my girls to have the seder with my older sister. We all descend on her crazy, happy busy house where she hosts me and my other two sisters and all of our kids -- over 20 nieces and nephews.
It is a wild and wonderful time. But I can not help but reflect on the troubling turn of events in the Middle East, Europe and here at home. Frightening times and the resurgence of antisemitism does not bode well. History teaches us. We know. I saw this article and thought it was fitting. Painful ........a painful reminder but we must never forget.
SAVED FROM SCRAPS, MUSIC FROM THE CAMPS Telegraph hat tip rh
In pictures: Music from the camps Audio: Charles Abeles (Holocaust Music: Alberobello 1942) Audio: Josef Kropinski (Holocaust Music: Auschwitz 1942) Audio: Viktor Ullman (Holocaust Music: Theresienstadt 1943)
Scribbled in notebooks, diaries and even on pieces of lavatory paper, they provide a remarkable history of the music played and sung by the victims of the Holocaust.
Scores for thousands of waltzes, tangos, operas and folk songs will soon be made available to the public, thanks to the dedication of Francesco Lotoro, a professional pianist who for 16 years has been scouring Europe's capitals to amass his collection
Mr Lotoro, 42, stumbled across his first piece of Holocaust music on a trip to Prague in 1991.
Much of the music is sad and plaintive. The lyrics of one song by Josef Kropinski read: "In Buchenwald, the birch trees rustle sadly, as my heart sways languishing in woe."
Despite the privations of life, there are several upbeat songs and plenty of wry Jewish humour. "There's no life like life at Auschwitz!" read the lyrics to another song.
Much of Mr Lotoro's collection comes from Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic, a concentration camp used by the Third Reich as a propaganda exercise to hide its extermination plans. Consequently, music was allowed, and orchestras and bands were permitted to perform. There was even a jazz band called the Ghetto Swingers.
Nevertheless, 33,000 of the 140,000 Jews who were sent there died, and 90,000 were sent to other camps, where many also perished. One musician that Mr Lotoro discovered had been interned there was Rudolf Karel, a Czech composer arrested for taking part in the resistance in Prague.
Despite suffering from dysentry, he used lavatory paper to compose a five-act opera and a nonet - a composition for nine instruments. The last of his works was an upbeat Prisoners' March, dated four days before his death in March 1945.