The article was published on the Shalom website on 21/08/19.

It’s been a year since giving a concert in Terezin (something I’ve always dreamed of) and ‘Holocaust Reality and Positive Resistance” and the first ‘March of the Music’ experience we had with two sparkling young people who came to Terezin with me.


As a result of my training, the only essential condition for me of this Terezin trip is that the young people give products on this topic. “March of the Music – Terezin Student Experience”, which I will be doing the second one with more students this year… The whole trip I will write thoroughly in the following days.

I shared the ideas and compositions of Akın Kilis, one of the students who came in last year. I want to share a very meaningful and valuable article by Engin Çetin, who is a master in musicology and the subject of the Germans who came to Turkey during World War II. When we went to Terezin, Engin felt it so deep and lived… The presence of sensitive young people like Engin gives me hope, the paths are always open….

Everlasting Hope

Engin Çetin

Everlasting Hope: Gustav Mahler & Terezin Composers/The second edition of the Festival of Gustav Mahler and Terezin Composers will be held in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic from 19 to 26 August 2018. It happened in Terezin. The festival began with a concert dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the birth of Terezin composer Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) and continued all week with various artistic and musical scientific activities. He did. Renan Koen, pianist, composer, soprano and music therapist, performed and held workshops in Prague on 21 August and in Terezin on 22 August. Koen’s program included a piano sonata of Viktor Ullmann and Gideon Klein (1919-1945), who gave works, although it was forbidden at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II.

In addition to being a musician, Koen is a versatile personality that provides trainings for young people to face the reality of the Holocaust. On the occasion of the “March of the Music” movement, which was formed as part of the “Positive Resistance with Holocaust Reality” initiative, bringing non-Jewish young people to Terezin every year, and the people of these young people to be informed about the Holocaust disaster, which is one of the darkest spots ever happened in history. Within the scope of this project led by Koen, we had the opportunity to be in Prague and Terezin for the first time as two students from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory.

I started at the General Musicology Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University to do research on anti-Nazi German and Jewish musicians who fled to Turkey during World War II. As a student who is currently undergoing undergraduate education in Germany, I was very excited when I heard about this project and decided to join the project without thinking about it. In addition to the great concerts and interviews that I listened to during the festival, I must say that this festival was very impressed with me. Prior to the festival, I thought I was knowledgeable about the Holocaust situation in the context of my own research, but when we arrived in Terezin, I realized how wrong I was about this: The massacre he had committed was more detriment than I could have imagined.

In addition to music events organized during the festival, there were also a number of events that would allow participants to raise awareness about the Holocaust. On my first day in Terezin, we attended Michaela Vidláková’s interview. Vidláková is a Jew who lived his childhood in Camp Terezin and by chance survived. In the interview, Vidláková told how his childhood was, the only toy he had in the camp, his uniform with the “Jude” on his chest, his Jew writing uniform and the pictures he drew at the camp. He brought it. When I saw these artifacts and listened to what Vidláková said, I stopped breathing, and I waited for the presentation to end by just shaking my hand. When I couldn’t bear to listen to it, I was really amazed at the fact that he went through these terrible events and could tell them in front of dozens of people. I wanted to hear and learn the events that happened in these shameful years, but I felt feelings that I had never felt before in the face of what I had heard. together we organized a trip to Terezin Concentration Camp. I have to tell you the truth, as a human being, I have never been so ashamed of myself. When I saw a swimming pool for Nazi soldiers just behind an execution wall with bullet holes in it, I realized that I couldn’t breathe, and that this trip would end as soon as possible. I’m getting impatient. On one side of the wall, people were executed for being Jewish, anti-Nazi, gypsy or gay, while Nazi soldiers were swimming on the other side of the wall. I don’t think I need to say anything more about that…

Our generation is the last generation to hear from the first mouth about this massacre, which aims to destroy an entire ethnic group and culture, and in this regard, we are aware that this terrible event does not happen again and There’s a huge burden on us to raise awareness of others. This black stain in in history will either be forgotten or misled by a variety of outrageous policies as time passes. In order to prevent this from happening and prevent such massacres, it is necessary to deeply examine, raise awareness, and raise awareness of the Holocaust, even though it feels terrible and helpless. I’m thinking about it.

Engın Cetın

[1] Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul State Conservatory Master of General Musicology – [email protected]

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