October 27, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik


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Violins of HopeMusicologist James A. Grymes will give the talk, "Violins of Hope," Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's annual observance of Kristallnacht. The talk will be followed by a book signing. The event is sponsored by Campus Jewish Life, Hillel and the Department of Music.

Grymes is professor of musicology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of several books.

His most recent, Violins of the Holocaust: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour, is about a collection of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and the experiences of Amnon Weinstein, the Israeli violinmaker who has devoted the past 20 years to restoring these violins in tribute to those who were lost, including nearly 200 members of his own family.

Grymes' book includes tales of individual violins which provided comfort for many in the camps and, in at least one case, helped avenge murdered family members.

'Night of Broken Glass'
Kristallnacht marks the beginning of the Holocaust in Germany when organized gangs of Nazi youth roamed through Jewish neighborhoods on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, breaking windows of Jewish businesses and homes, burning synagogues and looting.

"As time moves us further away from World War II and the Holocaust, it becomes that much more important to bring speakers to campus to help us to never forget that horrific time, for not only the Jewish people, but for the world," said Rabbi Serena Fujita, Jewish chaplain at Bucknell.