Jacob’s violin plays at Auschwitz

April 20, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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Jacob Vissel was murdered at Auschwitz in 1942…but yesterday his violin, in the hands of his great-granddaughter Ashleigh, played the theme from Schindler’s List at the entrance to the Nazi death camp.

Ashleigh Vissel at the entrance to Auschwitz

Ashleigh and Jacob's violin

16-yr-old Ashleigh Vissel, a student at Sydney’s Masada College, played Jacob’s instrument which had sat in a state of disrepair on the top of a cupboard in her grandfather home in Lane Cove since Josef Vissel had recovered it from his native town of Groningen in Holland.

When Ashleigh was selected to play the doleful music from the film, she immediately asked that the violin be repaired and made ready for the trip to Auschwitz.

And yesterday, as part of the March of the Living proceedings, the strings of the ancient instrument burst into music once again…within a stone’s of throw of where its original owner died at the hands of the Nazis….along with his wife Rika.

Click here for the original story of Ashleigh, Josef and the violin


One Response to “Jacob’s violin plays at Auschwitz”
  1. Fraser says:

    This is one of the most touching stories ever published on J-Wire. Well done, Henry!
    If you want a workout for your tear ducts, read this and the earlier story while listening to the theme from Schindler’s List. You can find a selection of performances on You Tube. I like the Itzhak Perlman but there are plenty of other good ones on You Tube.

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