Sunday, 13 June 2010

Terezin Theresienstadt Children Brundibár

These are the children of Theresienstadt, or Terezin (depends whether you come from east or west). They're singing cheerfully but  those who made the film were connected to those who would murder the children. The full propaganda movie can be downloaded, but I can't do that. It's too awful; there is a surreal scene where a prisoner is beating steel to the soundtrack of the cancan.....mail me if you want the link. There are actually two films, this one from 1942 and another recently unearthed.

This coming weekend the Nash Ensemble will be holding a weekend of Theresienstadt/Terezin music, films and talks, and some survivors will be there - maybe some of the children in this very film.  I've been writing about this for months, so use the search facility at right and go to the Wigmore Hall website. There'll be a short bit on Hans Krása's Brundibár an opera written for the children of the camp. It's not as powerful as Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis but Krása was trying to cheer the kids, not depress them. Brundibár gets performed all over the world, in many languages and rightly so. Kids need to know.

Here is a link to an excellent article in the Observer by Ed Vulliamy about the Nash Ensemble's Theresienstadt project at the Wigmore Hall.

You don't need to know Italian to be moved by the film below. These kids are even happier, their eyes shine, they're so innocent, even though they've already seen things no child should ever experience. It's like this everywhere, no matter how barbaric the world is, kids are kids, and they are pure. .I used to do a lot of work about war and camps (not Europe), and those who were kids would remember differently from those who were older and wiser. Which is a mercy. (My mother is in some very famous newsreel photographs, she just happened to be around when the camera crews came by.)

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