Holocaust survivor to speak, perform at Georgia College

pramati@macon.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Georgia College & State University will take part in a couple of events next week related to Holocaust Remembrance Day.

At 1 p.m. Friday, Ela Weissberger, a survivor of the Terrezin concentration camp, will share her memories of the camp, said Karen Berman, chairwoman of the Georgia College Theatre Department in Milledgeville.

Berman said the camp was set up to make it appear to the International Red Cross that the camps were humane and not death factories.

During World War II, children at the camp performed the children’s opera “Brundibar,” which was an anti-Hitler piece.

“It was so metaphorical that the Nazis didn’t understand what it was,” Berman said.

Weissberger, music department chairwoman Wendy Mullen and 20 students from the university’s music program will perform two songs from the opera during the event. Weissberger portrayed The Cat in all 55 performances at the concentration camp.

After that, the music and theater departments and student organization Goodrich Hillel, which is a co-sponsor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, will plant ceremonial daffodils as part of the international Survival of the Spirit Daffodil Project, which is aiming to plant 1.5 million daffodils to remember the number of children who died in the Holocaust.

Daffodils were chosen because they are in the shape of the Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish people.

On Jan. 26, Weissberger and Georgia College students will again perform the songs at Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta as part of the international Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. Berman said Georgia College awarded a research grant to the students to travel to Atlanta.

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