Title : AD AUSCHWITZ CERA UNORCHESTRA
A classic of Vallecchi production
Author Fania Fénelon,
n° pages: 272
A literature classic dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is back in bookstores, this time in its unabridged version. Translated all over Europe, in America, Israel, Japan and Turkey. It is the testimony of Fania Fénelon, a courageous artist, and a survivor of the horror of Auschwitz. The crematoriums smoked incessantly, the trains arrived continuously and every day unloaded masses of deportees in front of the orchestra’s shack. The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is the only one to have its own women’s musical group, forty-seven women with the same anguish of the other prisoners, but who have the strange privilege of being able to cultivate a very fragile hope in survival because of the “recreational” task that has been assigned to them. Fania, a professional French singer of Jewish origin, has a fundamental role in the group: she knows music and can orchestrate pieces. But it will be her tenacious determination to survive and the continuous efforts not to lose her humanity that will enable her to survive the camp, along with many of her companions. In that terrible 1944, Fania witnessed the sudden disappearance of every sense of solidarity and compassion among the other prisoners, their holding onto dramatic egoisms dictated by conflicts of race, class and religion and especially, human fragility and despair. Published for the first time in Italy by Vallecchi in 1972, with a second edition in 1981, the book inspired the film Playing for Time, written by Arthur Miller, and two adaptations for the theatre which the Alma Rosé company has had in its repertoire for a few years now. Their success is further evidence of the documentary strength of this devastating text, at times ironic, written with a surprisingly modern language. The Author Fania Goldstein, in art Fénelon (Paris, 1908-1983), pianist and cabaret singer, was incarcerated and deported to Auschwitz for her contact with the French resistance and her Jewish origin. .