VA -- Richmond -- Virginia Museum of History and Culture (VMHC) -- Exhibit: Violins of Hope:
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Description of Pictures: Violins of Hope
From August 4, 2021 - October 24, 2021
Violins of Hope is a touring exhibition dedicated to initiating deeper, more meaningful conversations about tolerance and social justice while educating people about the horrors of the Holocaust. This is the first time that the exhibit has been in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. As a part of this effort, the VMHC is displaying seven violins from a collection of more than 60 that survived the Holocaust and have been restored by violin maker Amnon Weinstein and his son, Avshalom, in Tel Aviv since the end of World War II. An Israeli violin shop owner and master craftsman, Amnon lost 400 family members in the Holocaust and became determined to reclaim his lost heritage by locating and restoring violins played by Jewish musicians during this period. He calls these instruments the Violins of Hope.
Of the seven violins on display at the VMHC, one violin survived the horrors of Dachau and Auschwitz; another is dedicated to a brother and sister who played concerts in the ghetto of Vilna; and a third recalls the powerful attraction of a klezmer band to a young boy who escaped Eastern Europe and would later open a violin shop in Israel.
Each violin has its own story of resilience and survival. Together they remind us that no matter how diverse we may be, we share the desire to live with dignity, to be treated fairly and kindly, and to express ourselves freely.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
VHSVIO_210905_007.JPG: Violins of Hope Richmond
VHSVIO_210905_010.JPG: "Wherever there was music; there was hope."
-- Amnon Weinstein
VHSVIO_210905_019.JPG: The Moshe Weinstein Violin
VHSVIO_210905_022.JPG: Survivors: Alan & Halina ZImm
VHSVIO_210905_029.JPG: The Bielski Violin
VHSVIO_210905_037.JPG: Hyde Farmland
VHSVIO_210905_049.JPG: The Morpurgo Violin
VHSVIO_210905_069.JPG: Racial Integrity
VHSVIO_210905_072.JPG: The S.S. Quanza
VHSVIO_210905_078.JPG: The S.S. Quanza, 1940
VHSVIO_210905_081.JPG: Jacob L. Morewitz, about 1916
Morewitz, age 44 at the time of the Quanza incident and an accomplished admiralty lawyer, was described in his 1916 University of Richmond yearbook as "Possessed of a nineteen-carat brain and that invaluable ability to sit down and stick to it."
VHSVIO_210905_086.JPG: Refugees on the S.S. Quanza
VHSVIO_210905_091.JPG: The Erich Weininger Violin
VHSVIO_210905_100.JPG: Interior of prison in Mauritius, about 1940
In December 1940, 1,584 Jewish refugees were sent from Palestine to the island of Mauritius, a British colony off the southeast coast of Africa, and detained. In the camp, the detainees suffered from tropical diseases and inadequate food and clothing.
At the end of World War II, the detainees were given the choice of returning to their former homes in Europe or immigrating to Palestine. Most chose Palestine. In August 1945, 1,320 landed in Haifa.
VHSVIO_210905_119.JPG: Virginia and the Holocaust
VHSVIO_210905_121.JPG: The Violin in Jewish Culture
VHSVIO_210905_126.JPG: The Wedding Mitzvah Dance, 1910
VHSVIO_210905_129.JPG: Green Violinist, 1923-1924
Marc Chagall moved from Paris to Russia in 1910. In Green Violinist, he evoked his homeland. The Chabad Hasidim of Chagall's childhood believed it possible to achieve communion with god through music and dance, and the fiddler was a vital presence in ceremonies and festivals.
VHSVIO_210905_134.JPG: Joel Rubin and University of Virginia Klezmer Ensemble with Cookie Segelstein and Joshua Horowitz, 2016
VHSVIO_210905_146.JPG: The Jacob Hakkert Violin
VHSVIO_210905_149.JPG: Jacob Hakkert in his workshop
VHSVIO_210905_152.JPG: Jacob Hakkert
VHSVIO_210905_156.JPG: The Holocaust
VHSVIO_210905_162.JPG: 17 Million Fell Victim to the Nazi Regime
VHSVIO_210905_166.JPG: A group of child survivors behind a barbed wire fence at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, 1945
VHSVIO_210905_169.JPG: Gatehouse to Auschwitz II-Birkenau Concentration Camp, 2011
The gatehouse at Auschwitz II, also known as Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a Nazi German extermination camp in occupied Poland during the Holocaust. This image shows the tracks from outside the camp leading through the gate to the gas chambers.
VHSVIO_210905_175.JPG: Jews from Subcarpathian Russia await selection on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1944
VHSVIO_210905_177.JPG: Gates pf Auschwitz Concentration Camp, 1940-1945
Auschwitz opened in 1940 in southern Poland. Those entering the main gate were greeted with the infamous inscription: "Arbeit Macht Frei," or "Work Makes You Free."
VHSVIO_210905_183.JPG: The Violin and the Holocaust
VHSVIO_210905_189.JPG: The Mauthausen Concentration Camp prisoner's orchestra was forced to play at the execution of fellow prisoner Hans Bonarewitz, Mauthausen, Austria, 1942
VHSVIO_210905_193.JPG: Inmates orchestra of Janowska Nazi concentration camp in Lviv, West Ukraine, 1941-1943
The orchestra played when the inmates departed for work and on their return. The orchestra was established by the Germans who amused themselves by mocking and humiliating inmates.
VHSVIO_210905_204.JPG: Plundered violins and violas in the Treuhandstelle Warehouse, about 1941
At the beginning of the deportations, the so-called Treuhandstelle was established to handle the property and valuables left behind by Jewish people. From December 1941 through January 1942, items such as skiing equipment, sewing machines, and musical instruments had to be surrendered by the Jews in Prague.
VHSVIO_210905_208.JPG: The "Star of David" Violin
VHSVIO_210905_212.JPG: Lodz Ghetto, Poland, 1942
Men, women, and children stare at the camera in apprehension, wearing Nazi designated "Star of David" yellow stars to denote Jewish people, in the infamous Polish Lodz Ghetto. Most were taken to Nazi concentration camps to fulfill Hitler's "final solution."
VHSVIO_210905_232.JPG: The Dachau Violin
VHSVIO_210905_237.JPG: Children in the ghetto at Lodz, Poland, about 1940
VHSVIO_210905_241.JPG: Throng of Deportation, 1944
In the spring of 1944, the Nazis decided to destroy the Lodz ghetto -- the last remaining ghetto in Poland, with a population of approximately 75,000 Jews. The Germans deported the last surviving ghetto residents -- perhaps including the Mercynnskis -- to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in August 1944.
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