Italian archivists gather forgotten music of Holocaust





ROME -- A waltz. A tango. A piece of jazz. But they weren't composed in Vienna, Buenos Aires or New Orleans. Scribbled on diaries, loose pages or even toilet paper, these are the notes left behind by people who lived and died in the prisons and concentration camps of World War II.

Italian researchers hope thousands of nearly forgotten works will find new life as they assemble a library of music composed or played in those dark places between 1933 and 1945.

"We are trying to right a great wrong: These musicians were hoping for a musical life for themselves, and they would have had it if their destiny had been different," said Italian musician Francesco Lotoro.

He has been collecting originals, copies and recordings of everything from operas composed in the depth of the Nazi death machine to jazz pieces written in Japanese POW camps in Asian jungles.

The library, set to open in September at Rome's Third University, will offer scholars a repertoire of 4,000 papers and 13,000 microfiches including music sheets, letters, drawings and photos.


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