By Rui Hu, iChongqing News
Chongqing – on Feb. 20, 2019, Music in Times of Tragedy was held by Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing and Consulate General of Israel in Chengdu, in memorial of the Holocaust and the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of the Italian Jewish Writer Primo Levi.
The event’s first part starts with the recitation of If This is A Man by Primo Levi. The second part is the piano and violin performance by Amit Weiner and Jiahua Duan. Weiner has introduced the music by composers who died in concentrate camps and holocaust. Music in Times of Tragedy is an event established since 2012 in memorial of Jewish music during Holocaust. After performances in Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, Amit brought this event to Chongqing. During this concert, Weiner introduced the history and stories behind. Besides this, a documentary Eravamo Italiani has been played to be an introduction to this history. It collected the interviews of survivors as historical proof of concentration camp.
The Jewish Holocaust was a racial cleansing exercise by Nazi during World War II. It was mainly aimed at Jews in Europe and all kinds of people considered by the Nazis to be “unwanted” or “inferior” for political or ethnic reasons. Nearly 6 million Jews were massacred in this ethnic Holocaust.
Despite this, the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps still showed a tenacious optimism and created a large number of excellent music and literature. One of them was the Italian chemist Primo Levi, who completed his testimony of the Nazi atrocities with his life. His work is a wonderful tribute to life, which proving that the human spirit cannot be defeated. In those dark days, music also brought infinite power to people, appeased people’s psychology, motivated them to overcome suffering, and look forward to the arrival of light.
At the event, Amit Weiner, an Israeli musician, teamed up with violent Jiahua Duan, to perform the music and songs that were widely circulated in the concentration camp. Our Home is Burning, Lullaby, HansKrasa, and etc. These melodies described the horror life of the concentration camp, and are accompanied by the work of Primo Levi.
Demonstrated from Weiner, he suggested that there was a motor in Europe: when the gun roars, the muses are silent. However, he thought a different way, when the gun roars, the muses are louder. Therefore, there are great music were made in concentrate camps. Both music and literature are fully demonstrating the spiritual dependence of art and humanity in the dark years, expressing peace for mankind, cherish and inheritance of love.
Italy is the rotating chairman of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from 2018 to 2019. IHRA is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1998 which unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance worldwide and to uphold the commitments of the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust (Wikipedia).
Primo Michele Levi (31 July 1919 – 11 April 1987) was an Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. His best-known works include If This Is a Man (1947, published as Survival in Auschwitz in the United States), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland; and The Periodic Table (1975), linked to qualities of the elements, which the Royal Institution of Great Britain named the best science book ever written.
Amit Weiner, an Israeli-born grew up as a concert pianist, and as a classical composer. Classically trained, and with a flourishing international career as a composer of concert music, music for film, trailers, TV and other media, Amit Weiner is active in a variety of musical fields – as a composer, pianist, arranger and producer.
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