‘Music in the Holocaust’ at the United Nations

The Parkes Institute was recently represented at a United Nations programme on the Holocaust, organised for Yom Hashoah.

Shirli GilbertDr Shirli Gilbert, author of Music in the Holocaust, spoke at a United Nations forum on ‘Learning about the Holocaust through the Arts’ at the UN headquarters in New York last month.

Shirli’s work focuses on the way in which music enabled the formation and maintenance of communities in the ghettos and camps, and explores Jews’ use of music as a form of resistance against Nazi persecution. She also explores the ways in which music – particularly the many songs that were preserved – contribute to our broader understanding of the Holocaust and the experiences of its victims.

“The music that survived the Holocaust helps us to deepen the way in which we remember its victims and the ways in which we convey their memory,” Shirli told the forum. “The songs help us to think about the victims as human beings unsure about what was happening to them and full of conflicting wishes, hopes, fears and predictions.”

Learning about the Holocaust through the Arts

Shirli is also the content leader for the music in the holocaust website, which preserves the music of the Holocaust and provides educational resources for those teaching on the destruction of European Jewry.

The webcast of the forum can be found here; Shirli’s discussion of music in the Holcoaust begins at 1:29:45.

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