A pan of history unsung is back to life, at the initiative of a professor of music theory at the university of Michigan, in the United States. In 2016, Patricia Hall visited the former concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Poland, to study the music played by the prisoners of the death camps during the Second World War. She then discovered the existence of scores written by these captives. They are derived from popular songs, ” explains the New York Times . The prisoners contrived to play with the instruments present in the camp. In total, she has recorded eight musical manuscripts.

one of The tunes exhumed, ironically titled Die Schönste Zeit des Lebens ( The most beautiful period of life ), is a foxtrot based on a song of Franck Grothe, a German composer of film music. It was played by the prisoners of the musicians in front of the villa of the commander of the garrison. Prisoners who, if they ate more hungry than the others, did not escape the arbitrary executions.

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The song was recorded in October by an orchestra of the university. – Photo credit: Scott Soderberg/Michigan Photography, Scott C. Soderberg/WO# 116157

Joshua DeVries, a college student in music theory at the same university, has scanned the partition and its arrangements. Then, the conductor of the contemporary ensembles of the institution, Oriol Sans, recorded the song in the studio with her musicians, in the month of October 2018. “This record is extremely important,” says Patricia Hall. We have brought this work to life, for a result as close as possible to what it must have been like in Auschwitz in 1943.”

The initiator of this project, designed as a duty of memory, is also able to identify two of the three captives who had arranged the piece, based on their numbers. Number with which they signed the manuscript. Both were political prisoners in poland. One was released in 1943, the other was transferred to Sachsenhausen, another concentration camp located near Berlin. He survived and was built after the war, the philharmonic orchestra of Gdansk, Poland. It is not known what has become the third musician. With respect to the registration, it will join the collections of the museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, to witness the creativity of these inmates have demonstrated in the times that claims of their existence.

● The process of resurrection of the partition forgotten