International Holocaust Day – Remains from a pipe organ from BH collections displayed at the MIM in Phoenix
The remains of an organ pipe found in 1950 by Hans Hirschberg in the ruins of the Neue Synagoge on Oranienburger Strasse, Berlin, are now on display at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The entire collection of Hans Hirschberg was generously donated to Beit Hatfutsot by his sister Mrs. Lilli Fliess, in his memory.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), opened in 2010, is the largest of its kind in the world and boasts an extensive
collection of musical instruments covering some two hundred countries and territories in the world.
The two remains from the Hans Hirschberg collection are part of a larger exhibit dedicated to Jewish music in Europe between 1939-1945. The destruction of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, and in
particular the devastating impact the Holocaust had on Jewish music and musicians in Europe, is emphasized by a number of musical instruments on display in the European gallery of the museum. The instruments that belonged to Jewish musicians persecuted by the Nazis help understand the terrible suffering and the incommensurable loss that befell on them during those tragic times. The small size of the two remains of the synagogue organ, especially when compared with the vast dimensions of what used to be the largest synagogue in Europe, help convey in a symbolic way the magnitude of the catastrophe.