‘Violins of Hope’ author speaks at Holocaust Remembrance service

Local News

At a service remembering the Holocaust, an author spoke about how violins are telling the stories of those lost in tragedy.

In honor of Yom Hashoa, or Holocaust Rememberance Day, the author of “Violins of Hope,” James A. Grymes, spoke to a group gathered at the Rifkin Campus Monday evening. 

Grymes wrote the book after learning about a project called Violins of Hope which include instruments that were played by Jews in the in the ghettos and concentration camps. He traveled to Israel and met with the man who restores the violins, Amnon Weinstein. Weinstein and his son have located dozens of instruments and have put them back together to play in concerts once more. 

“The players who once played these instruments may have been silenced by the Holocaust, but their voices and spirits live on through the instrument that these two Israeli violin makers have lovingly restored,” said Grymes. 

Grymes, a musician and college professor wrote his book about the project and the stories behind the instruments in 2014. Now he speaks at various events across the country to share those stories. 

“Each of these violins have its own story and they are very unique and inspirational each in their own way,” says Grymes. “They serve as poignant reminders that when we’re talking about the Holocaust, we’re not talking about a single story of six million Jewish deaths, it’s six million different stories.” 

The Violins of Hope will be brought to Fort Wayne as part of a tour. The Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic are hosting a series of concerts and events featuring the instruments. Those are scheduled to take place November 11-23. 

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