One of the last survivors of the Auschwitz women’s orchestra, the German Esther Bejarano, died on Friday night (9) at the age of 96, announced the director of the Educational Center Anne Frank on Twitter.
“She dedicated her life to music and to the fight against racism and anti-Semitism,” wrote Meron Mendel, recalling that Esther Bejarano, deported in 1943 to the Nazi death camp, managed to save herself because she was a musician and played the accordion in Auschwitz.
“An important voice in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism has died,” tweeted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, noting that “its vitality and incredible history” were admired.
Born in Sarrelouis, she was first deported to Auschwitz in April 1943 before being transferred in November of the same year to the Ravensbrück camp.
His parents and sister were murdered by the Nazis.
After the war, Esther Bejarano traveled to Palestine and lived for nearly 15 years in Israel, before returning to Germany, where for years she told her story and in recent years warned against the rise of the far right.
“Those like us who lived through this (deportation) know that there are no adequate words to describe how serious it is,” he insisted, citing in particular the xenophobic and anti-Muslim movement Pegida and the far-right party AfD.
A highly respected personality in Germany, he wrote several autobiographical novels, devoted himself to singing and to the Auschwitz international committee.
Esther Bejarano was recruited into the Auschwitz women’s orchestra when she couldn’t play the accordion but only the piano.
With other musicians, I had to play for prisoners and deportees when they got off the trains.
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