In San Diego, a requiem that aims to combat hate and prejudice

Posted on: April 30, 2015

“Before her death in February, philanthropist Erna Viterbi was passionately working to bring the concert drama Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin to San Diego,” writes Nina Garin in Tuesday’s (4/28) San Diego Union Tribune. “The performance, which has been staged all over the world, celebrates the defiance some Holocaust concentration camp prisoners showed to Nazi soldiers. … on May 7, Defiant Requiem will be performed by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale.” The work, created by Murry Sidlin, combines Verdi’s Requiem with testimony from survivors, footage from a Nazi propaganda film on Theresienstadt, and actors speaking the words of the prisoners. Caryn Rosen Viterbi, Erna Viterbi’s daughter, says: “It is our hope that by telling this story … future generations will … become a significant voice combating continued hate and prejudice against not only Jews, but all peoples.… The most important lesson of the Holocaust is that it is incumbent on every person to stand against these crimes and to speak out against hatred and bias. It was the dehumanization of the victims and the tolerance of small acts which emboldened the Nazis to act against entire populations.’ ”

Posted April 30, 2015