Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Orchestra of Exiles

“The true artist does not create art as an end in itself; he creates art for human beings. Humanity is the goal.”
The bravery/rescue stories of World War II of the hell on earth Jews & many other unprotected groups faced, has been fairly well documented. Several historical documentaries & films have recorded the fall & rise of those persecuted, including gems like, 'No Place on Earth', 'The Lady in Number 6', 'The Reader', 'A Beautiful Life' & 'The Rape of Europa'.

Lately, with the D-Day Anniversary & having had parents in the Royal Air Force in England, I've
been taking a closer look at those events in history that prior to now literally caused me to throw up. I still cannot 'stomach' the more graphic photos of liberation, but there has been a deeper rumbling that didn't breach the surface until I watched 'Orchestra of Exiles'. It documents the life of the great Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who saved around a thousand Jews from the Holocaust by bringing many of Europe's leading musicians & their families to safety by forming the Palestine Philharmonic.

What has come to 'life' for me is this. THE ARTS in all it's varied forms, albeit written, musical, painted, danced, baked or privately remembered, in most ways have SURVIVED. Whole families may have been wiped out without heirs, or gays & gypsies annihilated, but the ART itself was & remains indestructible. Bombed, hidden, burned, debased or murdered, the deep memories & stories would not be driven out of our collective consciousness & that to me is a hopeful thing.

(I'll note here a story I read about in the newspaper over thirty years ago. A man was standing in a line in the room before his death. He had been shaven & numbered like a piece of garbage & was about to be thrown away. In the corner of this room he saw a broom & as he moved closer to the next door, he quietly stepped a few paces out of line & grasped the broom. Very slowly & methodically, he began sweeping up, until eventually he swept himself back out the door he had come in. Somehow he survived the camp & the liberation & was now living in New York with quite the tale to tell his grandchildren.)

No comments:

Post a Comment