Hillel Holocaust Museum features historical music performances

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    Two traditional Yiddish folk songs performed at Hillel's Holocaust Museum brought back emotional memories for a Holocaust survivor.

    “I could hear my mother singing those songs to me while we were in hiding,” Paul Kessler said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

    This is the sixth year Hillel has displayed a Holocaust Museum on campus and the first time visitors could experience it through music, Hillel adviser Arnold Barkman said.

    According to the TCU Hillel Foundation’s website, “Hillel is the home for Jewish life at TCU, serving the cultural, religious, educational and social needs of all undergraduate and graduate Jewish student communities.”

    Three university students performed “Music and the Holocaust” on piano and violin this week at the museum in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.

    Hillel president and senior piano performance major Kyle Orth said he chose a wide variety of songs that related to the Holocaust in some way.

    Orth said the concert started with the two traditional folk songs that were relevant during the Holocaust. Other songs played were more modern and relatable for students, he said.

    In the past, Hillel hosted guest speakers at the museum. Orth said since it was his last year as president, he wanted to try something new.

    “People don’t normally think about music when they think about the Holocaust,” Orth said. “Music moves people and makes you think about the Holocaust and that era in a different perspective.”

    Although no words were sung, Kessler said every song told a different story.

    “It’s about remembering and making sure history doesn't repeat itself,” he said.