Milestone as World ORT returns to Berlin

A Jewish organisation has held its first meeting in Berlin since before the Holocaust.

Representatives of more than 20 countries including Israel and the UK attended the World ORT event on Monday and marked the launch of a website dedicated to music composed during the Nazi era.

The educational site includes 100 recordings from the ghettos and the concentration camps.

The website was curated by Southampton University academic Dr Shirli Gilbert. Dr Gilbert said: "The music and songs offer a unique insight into how people – including those who did not survive – understood what was happening to them at the time of the persecution and so offer a valuable addition to the testimonies of survivors after the facts."

Founded in Tsarist Russia in 1880, ORT was a key presence in German Jewish life before the Second World War.

The director general of World ORT, Robert Singer, said the return to Berlin was one of the most symbolic milestones in the organisation's 131 years history.

A ceremony was also held at the railway station from which ORT students and staff were deported to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt almost exactly 68 years ago.

Last updated: 10:30am, June 1 2011