Auschwitz lullaby to be heard at special concert


Songs describing the horrors of Auschwitz, including one written by inmates of the death camp, are to be used in a new work about the Holocaust.

Butterfly in Blood, based on Holocaust survivor Fania Fenelon's book Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz, is a collection of songs by different composers, including a lullaby called Close Your Eyes, composed by Auschwitz victim David Beigelman, with words by survivor Isaiah Shpigl.

Marika Klambatsea, who will perform the work at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester this weekend, said the lullaby was "a testament of their catastrophe.

"This is a mother telling her child all the suffering they have endured as a family - how they were separated, tortured and destroyed, and how the Nazis tried to completely diminish the human being."

Ms Klambatsea, a Greek singer who has herself written a song called Holocaust, said that "the prisoners' music was their weapon.

"The lullaby was forbidden - no one was allowed to sing it in the camp and if someone sang even one line, they were killed. For the Nazis, that song was the enemy."

The name of the opera, she added, was chosen because the "butterfly symbolises the fragility of the human being, and blood represents the torture of these human beings by the Nazis".

Other pieces featured in Butterfly in Blood include the Strauss waltz, The Blue Danube, which prisoners were forced to dance to for the guards' amusement - and an aria from Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, which Ms Fenelon was ordered to sing while she was in the camp

She hoped that audience members would go away "understanding that humane ideas cannot be stopped, that the human being cannot be destroyed."

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