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Edited by Erhard Roy Wiehn
Jacques Stroumsa: Preface to the English edition
Professor Dr. Erhard Roy Wiehn from the University of Konstanz and editor of an important collection of books about the Shoah, has asked me to write a preface for the English edition of my book, Violinist in Auschwitz. The experience acquired in Germany during my lectures at Gymnasia (high schools) in Berlin and neighboring Potsdam in 1993 and 1994 gave me a number of important insights which I would like to share with the Eng1ish-speaking public. The Nazi concentration camps were intended to completely destroy the human personality and to reduce it to a number tattooed on the skin, like animals in a slaughterhouse. The questions that people asked were, for example: having survived physically after being in Auschwitz and Mauthausen for two years, having survived the terrible Death March in January 1945, how did you find the strength to be a human being again; how did you adjust to living in a normal society again? Above all, where did you find the strength to come back to Germany (the land where crime was so scientifically organized) and, day after day, tell young Germans the details of your sufferings? How could you tell them that the younger generation is not guilty, that they and their parents (who are now the same age as my children) were not even born at the time when these events occurred? The answers to these anguished questions were given to me by the children themselves; they were deeply moved by my lectures. – One day, in December 1994, I received an invitation from Micaela von Marcard, head dramaturge of the Berlin State Opera, to attend the Memorial Concert to be given in Berlin on January 28, 1995, on the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Also, Mrs. von Marcard asked me to write some "Memories of Auschwitz" for Vivace, the bulletin of the State Opera. I used the occasion of my visit to Berlin to present several lectures at various Gymnasia in the vicinity and, most important, to once again meet a few of the girls who had written to me after my original lectures. - I am very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Leonhard Dünnwald for organizing this reunion in their villa in BerIin. I am also very grateful to four girls, Juliana, Tina, Katrin and Kristin for coming so far to our meeting and for their most thoughtful contributions to the discussions of these very anguished questions. - My sincere appreciation to James S. Brice, an American student at the University of Konstanz, for translating from German. He gave me the opportunity to reach the English-speaking public directIy. - Finally, my warmest gratitude to my beloved wife, Laura, who never ceases to encourage me in the fight for this noble cause.
Jerusalem and Tiberias, April!, 1995.
Herausgegeben von Erhard Roy Wiehn
Dr. Jacques Stroumsa s.A. verstarb im 98. Lebensjahr am 14. November 2010 in Jerusalem:
Weitere Titel zur Geschichte in der Region herausgegeben von Erhard Roy Wiehn:
Erhard Roy Wiehn,
Ewräi sti Thessaloniki - .
(ins Griechische übertragen von Rudolf Amariglio,
translated into English by James Stuart Brice).
Konstanz 2004, 74 pages (Greece and. English), 12,-- €. ISBN 3-89649-909-2
Erhard Roy Wiehn
Die alte sephardische Metropole im kurzen historischen Überblick
unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Schoáh 1941-1944.
Konstanz 2001, 50 Seiten, 14,80 €. ISBN 3-89649-718-9
„Was aufgeschrieben, veröffentlicht und in einigen Bibliotheken der Welt aufgehoben ist, wird vielleicht nicht so schnell vergessen.“ (Erhard Roy Wiehn)
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