OHS Students Moved by Violins of Hope Exhibit
Orange High School students in Ms. Rebecca Ellsworth's Orchestra and Mrs. Courtnay Cirino's History and Democracy classes recently visited the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage where they viewed the Violins of Hope exhibit...and learned about the power of music.
The 19 violins on display serve as memorials to those who perished during the Holocaust and are testaments to those who survived. Renowned Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein meticulously restored the violins as a tribute to hundreds of relatives he lost in WWII. One exception: a violin that had a swastika and "Heil Hitler" etched on the inside by a luthier before he assembled it and returned it to it's Jewish owner that way.
The violins were on display along with moving stories from the Holocaust and concentration camps. Students listened to personal stories as they learned how music played on these violins was used for both good and evil purposes in the camps and through propaganda videos staged by the Nazis prior to World War II. Yet for many people, the violins and the music were the only source of hope and sanity during this tumultuous time in history.