Search

Auschwitz orchestra survivor speaks of Holocaust ordeal

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 October 2013

Trudy Gold, executive director of education and Holocaust studies at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, with Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch and Anita Lasker Wallfisch. Picture: Polly Hancock

Trudy Gold, executive director of education and Holocaust studies at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, with Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch and Anita Lasker Wallfisch. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A surviving member of the Women’s Orchestra in Auschwitz shared her experience in the concentration camp as a gifted cellist.

Imprisoned with her sister in the camp in 1943, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch told an audience at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) of her time in the 40-piece orchestra that played marches as other prisoners left the camp every day to carry out forced labour.

During her time in the camp she had to use her musical talent in private concerts for SS officers, an ordeal that is thought to have saved her from being one of the 1.1million murdered there.

The orchestra was created under the instruction of the SS.

During the final stages of the Holocaust the group had to play while Jewish prisoners were sent to the gas chambers to put their minds at rest.

Anita, 88, discussed her traumatic experiences and the effect it has had on her relationships alongside her daughter, Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, at the LJCC in North End Road, Golders Green, last Thursday.

Maya, a psychotherapist, specialises in helping those affected by the Holocaust and spoke of its importance and the impact it has had on their lives.

Audience members found it an intimate and personal evening that was said to have “brought mother and daughter even closer together”.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express