[from the Sydney Morning Herald]
Brundibar is a short, light-hearted opera written for children. But for Jerry Rind, who was involved in one of the first performances in 1943, it was anything but light-hearted. For Rind, now 90, it was a matter of life and death – literally.
Rind was one of tens of thousands of Jews interned in the town of Terezin, in the north of Czechoslovakia, which was used by the Nazis as a collection camp for victims who were to be sent to Auschwitz. With room for 7000 people or so, at its height there were 55,000 crammed into the ghetto. Some 30,000 died of disease and malnutrition.
Rind laboured in a workshop making bunks and coffins, and it was from there that he stole the wood used to build the set for an illicit performance of Brundibar.
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