Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Hoje as noticias da manhã, mostravam um muito entusiasmado músico enaltecendo "o poder milagroso da música". Como diz a noticia da RTP 1, o projecto da Casa da Música do Porto, é levar a música a quem não pode ir até ela, a "Casa vai a casa".

"O objectivo é mostrar aos participantes que a estadia num hospital pode também ser uma experiência positiva e agradável, que lhes permita fomentar a sua auto-estima e melhorar a sua qualidade de vida", diz a Casa da Música em comunicado.

Entre segunda e quarta-feira, as crianças internadas no Serviço de Pediatria do Hospital Pedro Hispano, acompanhadas e apoiadas pelos familiares, terão a oportunidade de escrever canções, compor escrever canções, compor música e aprender a tocar alguns instrumentos de percussão.

No último dia, haverá uma apresentação ao público.

Nos dias 22, 23 e 24 será a vez dos adultos internados no Serviço de Ortopedia poderem participar numa acção de formação semelhante, que culminará também com uma apresentação, no Dia de S. João, 24 de Junho.

Os participantes serão orientados por formadores com experiência nesta área, como Tim Steiner, Samantha Mason, Tom Rainer, David Harrison e pelos formandos do Curso de Formação de Animadores Musicais (promovido pela CdM), Ana Bento , Liliana Abreu, Adalgisa Ponte e Fátima Ponte."

Não pude deixar de pensar como o poder milagroso da música foi tão ineficaz, a conter a loucura do nazismo, como gente herdeira duma das mais apuradas tradições musicais do mundo, se entregou ao mais perverso mal.
Como inclusivamente a música serviu a mise-en-scéne nazi.

"Happy" children of Theresienstadt

"On June 23, 1944, the Nazis permitted the visit by representatives from the Danish Red Cross and the International Red Cross in order to dispel rumors about the extermination camps. The commission included E. Juel-Henningsen, the head physician at the Danish Ministry of Health, and Franz Hvass, the top civil servant at the Danish Foreign Ministry. Dr. Paul Eppstein was instructed by the SS to appear in the role of the mayor of Theresienstadt.
To minimize the appearance of overcrowding in Theresienstadt, the Nazis deported many Jews to Auschwitz. Also deported in these actions were most of the Czechoslovakian workers assigned to 'Operation Embellishment.' It is claimed that they also erected fake shops and cafés to imply that the Jews lived in relative comfort, but ex-residents recall these shops as something different. Friedrich Schlaefrig recalls in an interview with David Boder just after the war ended; "By that time(autumn of 1944), I received a different assignment in the technical service; I have undertaken the management of a quadrant, that is a 'quarter' of the city, and I had my own office with adjoining small service apartment, with my shops nearby—carpenter shop, locksmith [machine] shop, installation [electrical, plumbing] shops" which were all available to the Jewish residents."
The Danes whom the Red Cross visited lived in freshly painted rooms, not more than three in a room. These could possibly have included the homes of the "prominent" Jews of Theresienstadt who were afforded special privileges whereby as little as two people shared a single room. The guests enjoyed the performance of a children's opera, Brundibar, which was written by inmate Hans Krása.
Apparently the Red Cross representatives were easily fooled by the Germans as the tour was conducted by following a pre-determined path designated by a "red line" on a map. The hapless Red Cross apparently didn't attempt to divert from the "official" tour route as led by the Germans who also posed questions to the Jewish residents along the way. If the Red Cross attempted to ask the residents questions directly, they were ignored and not answered. Despite this, the Red Cross still apparently formed a positive impression of the town.
The hoax against the Red Cross was apparently so successful for the Nazis that they went on to make a propaganda film at Theresienstadt. Production of the film began on February 26, 1944. Directed by Jewish prisoner Kurt Gerron (a director, cabaret performer, and actor who appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel), it was meant to show how well the Jews lived under the "benevolent" protection of the Third Reich. Despite this being a German propaganda film that was supposedly distorting the real living conditions in Theresienstadt, Gerron made no attempt to include any subtle or hidden messages in the film that later could have been used to expose its fraudulent nature.
Instead the film, if taken on face value, positively documents the Jews of Theresienstad living a relatively comfortable existence within a thriving cultural centre, functioning successfully during the hardships of WW2. This in itself is a puzzling anomaly considering the circumstances in which the film was purportedly made by Jewish residents amid the often documented desire of the Jewish people as a whole - or individually - to inform the world of their plight and suffering at the hands of the Germans.
After the shooting of the film, most of the cast and even the filmmaker himself, were in fact deported to Auschwitz. Gerron and his wife were executed in the gas chambers on October 28, 1944."

this excerpt from the Wikipedia, nice read The rest is noise, by Alex Ross. I first heard of Theresienstadt, in the writings of W. G. Sebald


  1. You mean Alex Ross's "The Rest is Noise"?

    You know, music can't prevent evil on a large scale but it can undoubtedly help with healing and the perception of pain on an individual basis.

    I don't think music was ever an instrument of Nazism.

  2. Yes, Claudia I'm reading the Alex Ross book.
    If you read this book I think you'll feel differently about the importance of music in the Nazi ideology and propaganda machine.

  3. Please get the title right in your post (it's The Rest is Noise, not "The Rest is Music"). I know the book.