How Music Saved Alice Herz
I just watched a very interesting video about how a 40 year old pianist literally and figuratively used music to survive the holocaust. Now, she’s outliving the Nazis, praising her love for music as the reason she is alive.
The account is shocking to me. Reflecting on it, the fact that the Nazis let their Jewish prisoners play music and engage with the arts at all is crazy. What could be more human than music?
This makes me think about the intersection between music and the holocaust in general. I found a wonderful webpage dedicated to the study of this. Some interesting things I learned about were the Hitler Youth’s use of music, and the Nazi Socialist Conservative rejection of jazz or any music that was new or different. This reminded me of what Dr. Dolan discussed in early lectures about the power and purpose of music.
Check it out here: http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/
What purposes do we use music for today? Is music propaganda alive and strong? When is it okay to use art to fuel a political campaign – and when has it crossed the line?
And to see a great example of propaganda music, here is a video of Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration. Start at 3:30 — that way, you’ll see the Clinton family standing around awkwardly while Fleetwood Mac struggles to make it through the song. And Michael Jackson comes out of nowhere!