Jewish-Italian musicologist Francesco Lotoro’s life’s work is collecting thousands of songs and lyrics composed during the Holocaust. In today’s Washington Post, Lotoro shares the story of Isle Weber, a poet, who was imprisoned at Terezin, the concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Ilse wrote a song called, “When I Was Lying Down in Terezin’s Children’s Clinic”, about the children she cared for while working as a nurse at Terezin. Isle’s music and poetry sustained her as she struggled to nurse the ailing children in the camp because medicine was sparse. Ilse perished in Auschwitz in 1944. Her music and poetry were preserved thanks to her husband who buried them in a garden shed at Auschwitz.
To read more about Lotoro’s work, see The Washington Post’s article “How thousands of songs composed in concentration camps are finding new life”, by Meagan Flynn, April 17, 2018.