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 Heinrich Haftel Violin

Haftel was one of about 100 musicians gathered by Bronisław Huberman from all over Europe in 1936 and brought to Palestine. He was a distinguished violinist before the war and joined Huberman after he lost his job in a German orchestra. Huberman’s vision to create an all-Jewish orchestra in Palestine saved the lives of many musicians and their families.
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The Shimon Krongold Violin

When World War II broke out, Krongold fled to the east and later died from illness in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Some years later, a person in possession of his violin came to the Krongold family home in Jerusalem, asking if they knew Shimon. Knowing it was their lost uncle, they bought his violin, one of the only surviving memories of him.
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The Yaakov Zimmerman Violin (1929)

Yaakov Zimmerman worked in Warsaw and had many clients, both Jews and Christians. He was known to support young violinists, including Michel Schwalbé, who would later become concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Ida Haendel, the child prodigy who became a world-renowned known virtuoso.
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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