The Maltz Museum in Beachwood, OH will be hosting several events in the near future as a part of the new exhibition, “Violins of Hope,” that will be running from Oct. 2 through Jan. 3.
In collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Institute of Music, The Cleveland Orchestra, Facing History and Ourselves, Ideastream and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Maltz Museum proudly welcomes Amnon Weinstein and his collection of violins that survived the Holocaust.
As a young child, Amnon Weinstein and his parents immigrated to Palestine in 1938.
During World War II, Weinstein’s father opened a violin shop in Palestine, and through his influence, Weinstein grew up to become a world-renowned violin maker.
About 50 years ago, a customer entered his shop, wanting to get a violin restored. The customer was a survivor of the Holocaust, and only survived by playing the violin for the Nazi soldiers. The man also explained how he was forced to play while other Jews marched to their deaths.
Upon opening the case to view the man’s violin, Weinstein was shocked to find ashes inside the case.
Years later, after this experience, Weinstein decided that with the skills he acquired while making violins, he would start collecting violins that were played during WWII by Jews and would restore them- bringing back to life the spirits of those who wrongfully perished.
This collection of violins, now beautifully restored, is called “Violins of Hope,” and has graced its’ presence right here in Cleveland.
Eighteen of Weinstein’s violins will be on display at the Maltz Museum and, according to Samantha Fryberger, the museum’s Director of Marketing and Communications there is another violin that will be “making its American debut on loan from Yad Vashem, the World Center for Documentation, Research, Education and Commemoration of the Holocaust”.
Each violin contains rich history and a unique story. These stories will be told through a variety of films and live performances that will be featured throughout the exhibition. The exhibition will pay tribute and respect to those who suffered from the Holocaust and expects to bring hope, as the exhibition title suggests, towards a new day.
“As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, the ‘Violins of Hope’ exhibition really resonates with me as a testament to the human spirit and hope during such a dark time,” said Senior and President of JCU Hillel, Nicolle Simonovic. “The exhibition is a moving and powerful reminder that we must never forget what happened and that we must make sure it never happens again.”
Freshman, Sean Cain, thinks the exhibition “turns hurt and negative emotions into a story that everyone will understand, as music is a universal language.”
The Maltz Museum will pay tribute to the violins by periodically filling the gallery with live music from The Cleveland Institute of Music and the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. Throughout the exhibition, these performers will play on the actual “Violins of Hope,” showcasing their beauty and bringing them to life.
There are many events scheduled over the course of the exhibition.
The Baldwin Wallace University Symphony Orchestra will perform Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Maltz Museum.
Another event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. at the Mandel JCC Stonehill Auditorium, where “The Holocaust Survivor Band” will be performing. This concert will combine music with the stories’ of two Holocaust survivors.
For more information on the exhibition and to see a schedule of events, visit violinsofhopecle.org and follow the hashtag #violinsCLE.