From Jan 9 to Feb 16, 92nd Street Y presents Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín—a multi-disciplinary series that explores the cultural significance of Terezín, an unusual concentration camp within today’s Czech Repubic borders, where 144,000 Jews were sent and 88,000 then deported to extermination camps.
Living within this ghetto-like transit camp, Terezín internees produced for themselves great music, art and educational activity. Eventually, the Nazis exploited this spirit for their own purposes and propaganda, which has obscured the legacy of Terezín.
The cornerstone of the five-week program is a four-concert series with the Nash Ensemble of London, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and pianists Shai Wosner and Russell Ryan performing music primarily played and written in Terezín itself.
92Y also offers a number of panel discussions, including one with Terezín survivors; a day-long lecture series modeled after lectures given at Terezín; film screenings; dance presentations; readings; educational outreach to K-3 public school students through 92Y’s music-education program; and an exhibit of art and artifacts from Terezín.
Terezín, or Theresienstadt, as it is also known, was unique in that the Nazis used it for propaganda purposes, which succeeded in deceiving even Red Cross inspectors who visited the camp in 1944. The truth is, tens of thousands of Jews died at Terezín. The majority of others were transported to and killed at death camps such as Auschwitz.