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 German Violin

This violin clearly survived the Jewish fate – either a ghetto hard labor camp or worse. The identity of the owner is unknown.
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The Freidman Hecht Violin

This violin belonged to a German woman, Fanny Hecht, whose family fled to the Netherlands in an attempt to escape the Nazis. There she befriended her neighbor, Helena Visser who sometimes played music with her. During the German occupation of the Netherlands, Hecht realized that her family would be taken by the Nazis, so she asked Visser to take care of her violin until she was able to return.
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The AIPAC Violin

This violin belonged to Dr. Leon Schatzberg-Sawicki, born in 1918 in the town of Kolomyia, then part of Poland and now Ukraine. He graduated from the Lviv Conservatory in 1938 and studied medicine at Lviv University, graduating in May 1941.
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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