Even though [the newsreel images] showed the naked obscenity, the physical deterioration, the grim destruction of death, the images, in fact, were silent. Not merely because they were filmed without live sound recording, which was standard practice at the time. They were silent, above all, because they said nothing precise about the reality they showed, because they delivered confused scraps of meaning… (Jorge Semprún, L’écriture ou la vie [Paris: Gallimard ,1994])
Why do you think sound was so important for Semprún in giving life to representations of the Holocaust? What light do these claims made for sound, both during and after the Holocaust, cast on our understanding of music and music making during this period?
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