And the band played on…

I was scrolling through the nonsense on the channels, looking for anything to pass some time. I landed on a documentary called, “JS Bach in Auschwitz”. About “…interviews eleven of the forty women prisoners who played in an orchestra at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.” – I was mesmerized.

One could see any number of emotions on the faces of those interviewed. One lady worked hard to remember her sister, of the kinder things and yet could not forget that day her parents and a friend arrived as she played a simple tune that eased that trainload of human life into its place of death.

Another tried to reason her way through it – how could they have done it? Why did she sing?

Well, to live, of course. But even this far away from it they had a hard time expressing the thing. And I wonder at how children today are taught about those events. The one lady had a young piano student there and the boy hacked away at a piece as the somewhat wizened woman spoke of those times. What did he think of her, the teacher with the accent that he probably felt strange with, the keys under his fingers perhaps involuntarily. And now, 13 years later, is he one of those “teens for change”? Will he see the comparisons, the rather striking similarities?

Will our own future history hold such tales of horror and atrocity? Are we strong enough to live through them as those people were? I do wonder…

But that music resonates even now, across all those years. Through all those poor souls that moved on to the terrible, kind music…echoing again and again. Lest we forget, yes?

One response to “And the band played on…

  1. I wonder if they sang, even hearing the birds, free outside their barred existance, because they knew they were still alive. They knew how to be dead, from all they’d witnessed, but there they were, in spite of the great odds against it, singing, living and breathing and growing. Singing, as the trees in the fields outside bend in the wind and survive, and the liquid tranquility of a rushing river flows so far away. Singing along along with a mere small red-winged songbird, who truly believes that in this moment, she’s eternal, and for an instant, may very well be.

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