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Joshua Bell To Perform Benefit Concerts In Poland

    The Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews announced that it has signed world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell to perform two concerts in Poland.


 

   His first concert on October 20 will be held in the town of Czestochowa, birthplace of Bronislaw Huberman, founder of the Israeli Philharmonic. The concert will be conducted in the Czestochowa Philharmonic Hall, which is built on the foundations of the New Synagogue of Czestochowa, destroyed by the Germans in 1939.

 

    The second concert on October 21 will take place in the National Opera Theater of Warsaw as a benefit for The Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews.

 

   Bell will be using the famed Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius, a musical instrument without parallel. Bronislaw Huberman and Joshua Bell are eternally connected through their violin, the 1713 Stradivarius, known today as the Gibson ex-Huberman.

 

        It was in Paris in 1895 that Huberman and the Stradivarius became an inseparable pair. The violin was gifted to him by Polish Count Zamoyski and one year later – at the mere age of 14 – Huberman performed the Brahms violin concerto, on that very Stradivarius, to Johannes Brahms himself.

 

    The violin was stolen twice from Huberman – the first time in 1919 in Vienna and was quickly recovered; the second time in the New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1936 and was recovered more than half-a-century later.

 

    In 2001 Bell discovered the violin was about to be sold to a German industrialist to become part of a collection. According to Bell’s website the virtuoso “was practically in tears.” Reportedly, he sold his own Tom Taylor Stradivarius for a little more than $2 million in order to purchase the Gibson ex-Huberman.

 

    “It is the most amazing-sounding violin I have ever heard,” said Bell. “This is like a dream come true.”

 

       The marvelous violin bore witness to Huberman’s trials and triumphs and today, in the hands of Joshua Bell, continues to preserve Huberman’s enduring artistic and humanitarian legacy.

 

     Tickets to the performance in Czestochowa are being given out at no charge to the   townspeople in recognition of their work in preserving the Jewish heritage of the once very Jewish town. Today there is a small Jewish community in Czestochowa that maintains good relations with its neighbors.

 

    Tickets for the Warsaw concert are being sold around the world, as there are many people who would like to support the Museum but cannot attend the concert.    

 

      President of Bnai Brith of Poland, Mr. Jaroslaw J.Szczepanski, came up with the idea to give any unused tickets to people in Poland that have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

 

   Mr. Sigmund Rolat, Chairman of the North American Council for the Museum Of The History of Polish Jewish, solely produced both concerts.

 

    For more information about the concerts visit their website, www.bellconcerts.com.

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Arnold Fine 2008

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

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