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Kristallnacht 75th Anniversary Marked with Berlin Concert

November 5, 2013

Daniel Hope at the Savannah Music Festival Photo by Frank Stewart British violinist Daniel Hope and Kultur Projekte Berlin join to commemorate victims of Kristallnacht with a ceremony and performance at the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10.

Known as the "Night of Broken Glass," the Nazi pogrom in Berlin Nov. 9-10, 1938, marked the beginning of the Holocaust. The Berlin Culture Project marks the 75th anniversary of the event, inviting "everyone, especially Berlin’s schoolchildren and students, to come together at the Brandenburg Gate in a memorial that signals the value of diversity in today’s Germany and promotes vigilance against all forms of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism, and violence."

Hope's own family lived in Berlin until 1938; some of them fled to the U.S. and South Africa, others lost their lives. At his last Kristallnacht concert in 2008, Hope converted the former Tempelhof Airport into a concert hall and brought together friends and colleagues to make a stand against racism and promote tolerance with his "Do Something!" campaign:

What fascinates me most about Berlin is its perpetual history still hidden deep inside so many of its buildings. And so I decided some years ago to fill these places with music, one after the other, by performing at the Reichstag, the Ministry of Finance (formerly Göring’s Ministry of Aviation), the Felix Mendelssohn-Remise, (the former carriage house of the old Berlin headquarters of the Mendelssohn Bank), and Tempelhof Airport. Making music in these buildings, surrounded by the ghosts of my family and of times gone by, let me into a past which I did not experience, but can still sense.

Hope is including in the ceremony Heinz Jakob "Coco" Schumann, the legendary Berlin jazz musician who survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Hope’s latest DVD-documentary Refuge in Music (Deutsche Grammophon, 2013), an excerpt of which will be shown during the event, tells the story of 89-year-old Schumann and the oldest living Holocaust survivor, 109-year-old pianist Alice Herz-Sommer.

Hope will also perform music by 1930s composers who were condemned during Nazi rule. He will be accompanied by the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].