Art And The Holocaust : Spiritual Resistance In Terez�n

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Art and the Holocaust: Spiritual Resistance in Terezín “Painting is an instrument of war to be waged against brutality and darkness” -- Pablo Picasso Introduction: When one thinks of the Holocaust, art and music do not tend to come to mind. Yet, both were pervasive in the years of 1933-1945. In Terezín and other camps, art was often the difference between life and death. Despite appalling conditions, inadequate resources, and the threat of death, artists and musicians created over 30,000 pieces of work. Whether a reworking of Verdi’s Requiem or a mere scrawling of a name, all serve as testimonies to the resilience of the human spirit, and the attrocities committed during the Holocaust. Often for these people, being forgotten in time was more frightening than death. While many of the artists of Terezín, were ultimately killed, through their art and music, their voices are forever preserved. In the bleak and dismal world of Terezín, art provided beauty and hope to those interned. Art was an act of spiritual and creative resistance. The Path to Terezín: Terezín (or Theresienstadt) is a small town located sixty kilometers from Prague (the capital city of Czechoslovakia). Built in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II of Austria, Terezín served as a military fortress against Prussia. Designed by Italian engineers, the town is composed of two star shaped fortresses--the “big fortress” and the “small fortress”. While the larger fortress served as the town (housing six thousand
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