Craftsman Amnon Weinstein Makes Holocaust Violins Sing Again
Artisan Amnon Weinstein has located and restored violins that belonged to Holocaust victims, then brought them to be played in orchestras all over the world.
Amnon Weinstein, a craftsman of string instruments who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, lost nearly 200 relatives to the Jewish Holocaust. Like millions of other Jewish people, he still grieves for his losses—but he’s found a unique way to pay tribute to Holocaust victims through his work.
Countless Jewish heirlooms were destroyed during the Holocaust, including many musicians’ instruments. “The Germans confiscated from the Jewish people every violin, viola, cello they could and we are talking about thousands, gone with the wind,” Weinstein told CNN. Many of the instruments bore the Star of David, as a sign of the one-time owner’s Jewish faith.
Fortunately, not all of these precious instruments were destroyed. Some made their ways to violin shops and antique markets. And Weinstein has dedicated years to tracking them down.
Weinstein can learn a lot simply from looking at the violins, he said. “Those which were in the Holocaust came in horrible condition, so the workshop made the decision to make a concert instrument out of each one.”
Weinstein has purchased and restored more than 26 Holocaust violins, spending an estimated $200,000 in his own labor time He has no way of knowing what became of the violins’ former owners—many of their lives likely ended in tragedy. But he can use the violins as a legacy to commemorate their lives.
The instruments, now known as “Violins of Hope,” have been performed in orchestras all over the world, including Israel and the United States. Thanks to Weinstein’s determined work, symbols of tragedy have been transformed into uplifting music.
Watch the video for more details.
Filed under: Arts and Culture, Heroes, History,
Liked this? You'll love these, too:
Positive Stories from the Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Tragedy
Here are a few signs of hope to come out of the tragic shooting at "Batman Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. Read More
Soldier’s Lifesaving Parachute Transformed to Wedding Dress for His Bride
After using a parachute to survive a plane crash, Claude Hensinger gave the chute to his future bride to be used as a wedding dress. Read More
Child of War Turned Peace Activist: Phan Thi Kim Phuc
Remember the photo of a little girl running naked down the street, covered in napalm? Amazingly, she survived the horrors of the Vietnam War -- and grew up to become a world-renowned activist for peace and forgiveness. Read More
Tim’s Place: The Restaurant that Serves Breakfast with a Side of Hugs
Tim Harris, a young man with Down's syndrome, hasn't let his disability stop him from opening a restaurant in New Mexico. Read More
Amazing Heroes of the United States Military
In honor of this Veterans' Day, we're sharing a few of our favorite stories of heroic individuals in the United States military. Read More
To our free daily newsletter, featuring good news from around the world, exclusive interviews with changemakers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers. Your privacy is secure with us, we will never spam you or sell your email address. Enter your email address below or click here to learn more about what you will receive.
- Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing
- Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious
- Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog
- Liam Hoekstra, Superbaby: Toddler Born with Superhuman Strength
- Mugging Attempt Gets Thwarted by Real-Life Ninjas