Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 17, 2019 9:01 am

Verbatim: PBS39 partners with Violins of Hope Fort Wayne

PBS39 Fort Wayne issued the following news release today:

FORT WAYNE, IN — October 17, 2019: PBS39 has teamed up with Violins of Hope Fort Wayne, led by the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Philharmonic, to highlight the work of nearly 30 organizations from across the community in presenting the historic Violins of Hope to Northeast Indiana this fall. Violins of Hope comprise a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. These instruments survived concentration camps, pogroms, and many long journeys and now tell remarkable stories of justice and free expression.

The PBS39 program schedule includes, as follows:

PrimeTime39: Violins of Hope Fort Wayne

Friday, November 1, 2019 at 7:30 pm PBS39 (39.1)

Learn more about Violins of Hope and get a preview of the events surrounding its Fort Wayne exhibition in this conversation with project organizers Jaki Schreier, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, and Jim Palermo, Managing Director, Fort Wayne Philharmonic. This program encores November 2, 6:30 pm and November 3, 8 pm on PBS39 Explore (Channel 39.4)

Violins of Hope, Strings of the Holocaust

Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm PBS39 (39.1)

Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust,” narrated by Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody, is a documentary featuring Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein and his efforts to restore violins recovered from the Holocaust. Some were played by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps; others belonged to the Klezmer musical culture, which was all but destroyed by the Nazis.

PrimeTime39: Author James Grymes, “Violins of Hope”

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm PBS39 (39.1)

Musicologist and author James Grymes will discuss his chronicling of the beautiful and haunting history of violins played by Jews in the Holocaust. “Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust – Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour” received a National Jewish Book Award. This program encores November 9 at 6:30 pm and November 10 at 8:00pm on PBS39 Explore (Channel 39.4)

Eva A-7063

Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm PBS39 (39.1)

At 10, she survived experiments by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. At 50, she helped launch the biggest manhunt in history. Into her 80s, after decades of pain and anger, she traveled the world to promote what her life journey taught: Hope. Healing. Humanity. “Eva A-7063,” a documentary by Ted Green, Mika Brown and WFYI (Indianapolis) tells her full unvarnished story for the first time, inspiring viewers around the world.

A Call To Remember

Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 10:30 pm PBS39 (39.1)

David Schaecter takes viewers on an emotional journey through his life story – from a bucolic childhood in Czechoslovakia to his and his brother Jakob's struggle for survival in Auschwitz, and finally, to David's dramatic escape from the Nazis. David, the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust, would eventually immigrate to the United States and help found the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach in hopes of educating a younger generation about World War II and the Holocaust. Through David's story, viewers witness the cruelty of intolerance, but also the power and will of the human spirit.

PrimeTime39: Violins of Hope Fort Wayne – Avshalom Weinstein

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm PBS39 (39.1)

Avshalom Weinstein is a third-generation violin maker and restorer. Weinstein's paternal grandfather, Moshe, who immigrated to Israel in 1938, started to buy Holocaust violins after the war, when other Jewish immigrants, with no homes to return to, started also to make their way to Israel. Weinstein will discuss the preservation work that has become known as Violins of Hope and talks of several violins brought to Fort Wayne for the exhibition and performances. This program encores November 16, 6:30 pm and November 17, 8 pm on PBS39 Explore (Channel 39.4)

In addition to the programs airing on the dates noted, PBS39 will be recording the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra concert at the Rhinehart Center For The Performing Arts, Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday, November 10 for broadcast at a later date. That concert, entitled, “Violins of Hope: The Violins Live On,” features works by three Jewish composers linked to the Holocaust, giving a modern voice to the violins that have survived and lived on. Works by Lukas Foss, Erwin Schulhoff, and Philip Glass will be performed with special guests including Ashlee Bickley, mezzo-soprano, Shelby Lewis, narrator, Violetta Todorova, violin, and Kevin Wang, piano.

About Violins of Hope

Amnon Weinstein has spent the last two decades locating and restoring these violins. He dedicates this important work to 400 relatives he never knew, all murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. These instruments serve as a testament to the defiance, resilience, and legacy of the Jewish people, the triumph of the human spirit, and the power of music to lift hearts during even the most horrific circumstances.

After becoming one of the most respected violinmakers in the world, Weinstein determined to reclaim his lost heritage. He began locating violins that were played by Jews in camps and ghettos, painstakingly piecing them back together so they could be brought to life on the concert stage. Although most of the musicians who originally played these instruments were silenced by the Holocaust, their voices and spirits live on through the violins Weinstein has lovingly restored.

For Jews enduring utter despair and unimaginable evil during the Holocaust, music offered a haven and a sense of humanity. In some cases, the ability to play the violin spared Jewish musicians from more grueling labor or even death. Nearly 50 years ago, Weinstein heard such a story from a customer who brought him an instrument for restoration. The customer had survived the Holocaust because his job was to play the violin while camp guards marched others to their deaths.

About Violins of Hope Fort Wayne

Violins of Hope have toured many important cities around the world and will now come to Fort Wayne from November 9–24, 2019. Organized by lead partners, the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, a steering committee of prominent local professionals has been formed to work with area partners on a community-wide series of events focusing on these instruments. The sound, presence, and stories of Violins of Hope Fort Wayne will drive the creation of music, visual art, theater, public conversation, interfaith dialogue, readings, and educational activities throughout Northeast Indiana. Most importantly, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Youth Orchestra musicians will bring to life the humanity and stories of those who owned these precious instruments through dozens of local area performances.

The violin has been an important component of Jewish culture for centuries, both as an instrument popular with classical Jewish musicians and as a central factor of social life, as seen in the Klezmer

tradition. During the Holocaust, however, the violin assumed an extraordinary role within the Jewish community. Violins of Hope Fort Wayne will tell stories from that time. It is hoped that these strings of

the Holocaust will leave participants with a sense of purpose, strength, and optimism for the future.