Wigmore Hall Director John Gilhooly has invited Holocaust survivor and cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch to speak at a specially-programmed concert at Wigmore Hall following her recent address to the Bundestag in Berlin, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
For this extraordinary event, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch – a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen – will describe her life story and the importance of learning from one of history’s darkest chapters. She is joined on stage by her son, the acclaimed cellist Raphael Wallfisch and the pianist John York for music by Bloch, Ravel and Korngold.
The event will be filmed and live-streamed via Wigmore Hall’s website.
Gilhooly felt compelled to bring Anita Lasker-Wallfisch’s message to London saying: “After I saw Anita Lasker-Wallfisch's address to the Bundestag, I felt it had to be heard in London, so I invited her to give the address in English at Wigmore Hall. As a non-Jewish leader working in the arts, I feel it’s necessary to give a public platform wherever possible to highlight the dangers of anti-Semitism, and I am puzzled as to why other non-Jewish voices have yet to speak out. After all, the Jewish diaspora has done so much for this country, in the arts, sciences, politics, medicine and not least philanthropy. Anita’s words are so important to hear, as history has shown, time and again, that where anti-Semitism, racism and extreme views are on the rise, dark times are usually never far behind. Combined with powerful and appropriate music, this very special event is presented as a timely lesson for all generations and creeds.”
In her address to the Bundestag, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch said: “Anti-Semitism is a virus which is two thousand years old and apparently incurable […] No other genocide is as comprehensively documented as the Holocaust. And yet there are still the deniers, people who claim that all the accounts are fabricated and that the Holocaust never happened […] There are no excuses and no explanations for what happened all those years ago. All that remains is hope: the hope that ultimately, one day, reason will prevail.”