Holocaust remembrance event focuses on ‘Music of Resistance and Survival’

(Featured photo is of a Jewish partisan music group in 1943 and is from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website courtesy Benjamin (Miedzyrecki) Meed)

A Kennesaw University professor brings a unique Holocaust remembrance program to Adas Yeshurun Synagogue April 16.

Laurence Sherr, composer-in-residence and professor of music at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, “designs events that feature remembrance music enriched by stories of Holocaust-era creators and concurrent musical developments. A prime example is his Music of Resistance and Survival project, which features his cello sonata, Holocaust songs of resistance and survival woven into the sonata,” according to Sherr’s biography at Navona Records.

Laurence Sherr. Photo Kennesaw University

Sherr’s album Fugitive Footsteps: Remembrance Music was released March 13.

Rabbi David Sirull, who will accompany Sherr in his Augusta performance, said he’s found these songs moving.

“The songs are hopeful,” said Sirull, the spiritual leader at Adas Yeshurun Synagogue on Johns Road. “There’s so much defiance. They are almost like marches – going to march to victory, and good is going to win over evil.”

The Jewish people observe Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day about a week after the end of Passover, the dates of which change on the Western calendar but are constant on the Hebrew calendar. Yom HaShoah is observed on the 27th day of the month of Nisan.

This year, Yom HaShoah begins on the evening of April 17.  It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising during World War II.

The Warsaw ghetto was the largest Jewish ghetto in German-occupied Europe, housing about 400,000 Jewish people in 1940. 

“On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw ghetto uprising began after German troops and police entered the ghetto to deport its surviving inhabitants. Jewish insurgents inside the ghetto resisted these efforts. This was the largest uprising by Jews during World War II and the first significant urban revolt against German occupation in Europe. By May 16, 1943, the Germans had crushed the uprising and deported surviving ghetto residents to concentration camps and killing centers,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

Some Jewish people, who were able to escape the European ghettos, lived in the forests of Soviet occupied territory in Lithuania. Known as partisans, they fought against the Nazis.

 “They collected guns and munitions,” said Sirull, who has studied the Holocaust through Yeshiva University in New York. “They published papers illegally.”

Sponsored by the Augusta Jewish Museum, Jewish Community Center and Federation of Augusta, Music of Resistance and Survival will be at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the synagogue. The event is open to the public.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at