Creativity in the Face of Death: The Contemporary Resonance of Terezín
“Creativity in the Face of Death,” a three-day symposium, will explore the enduring influence of music and art created by prisoners at Terezín (Theresienstadt), the “model ghetto” near Prague created by the Nazis as a sham showcase to mask their murderous campaign against Europe’s Jews. The inmates, mostly Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia and among them many notable artists, writers, composers, and musicians, acted out their parts for unsuspecting visitors even as, in the shadow of death, they raised the spirits of their fellow prisoners. Only 12 percent of the 140,000 Jews originally sent to Terezín survived. Virtually all of the members of the artistic community perished in the death camps or at Terezín itself.
Their heroic example has served as a haunting challenge for later artists to create what Kafka declared books must be—“an axe for the sea frozen inside us.” “Creativity in the Face of Death” will bring together world-class musicians, choreographers, photographers, and scholars whose work has been touched by the legacy of Terezín.
Click here to visit the official Terezín splash page, or explore event listings and artist/presenter bios at left.