Violins of Hope

Instruments for Unity

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Reading, Pennsylvania

Events and Programs November 1-14, 2021

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EXPERIENCE THE VIOLINS OF HOPE

A Stunning Exhibit of the Strings of the Holocaust

Plus two weeks of moving events throughout Berks County.

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About

Violins of Hope Reading is a collaborative effort by organizations across Berks County. Each instrument in this collection belonged to an individual with their own unique and personal story. We hope you will learn and share their stories, as an act of remembrance for the many victims of the Holocaust.

Just like our diverse community, these violins and the individuals who played them, came from many different countries and a variety of experiences and faiths. They are connected through music and its ability to speak beyond differences in language, politics or religion. We present Violins of Hope Reading as the start of a community-wide conversation on unity and understanding.

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Violin Stories

"As long as they had their violins, they still had hope." ~ Dr. James Grymes, Author, Violins of Hope

The Dachau Violin

This violin belonged to Abram Merczynski. In August 1944, he and his two brothers, Isak and Zysman, were deported from the ghetto in Łódź, Poland to Auschwitz and then to Dachau. Abram was 21 years old and played his violin wherever he was, even in Kaufering, a sub-camp of Dachau.
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The Bielski Violin

This violin was played by a klezmer musician. Music was one of the few art forms encouraged by Jewish tradition, and it was quite common for young children to play the violin.
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The Weichold Violin

Along with several others in the Violins of Hope collection, this fine, high-quality instrument belonged to a member of the Palestine Orchestra, created in 1936 by Bronisław Huberman. His vision to create an all-Jewish orchestra saved the lives of many musicians and their families because he was able to help them escape Europe during the rise of Nazism.
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Events

Attend performances, exhibits, and activities throughout Reading

All events have concluded. Please click the link below to see what was previously available.

"For the dead and the living, we must bear witness." Elie Wiesel