2014: Survival of the Spirit

Featuring Ela Weissberger

A member of the original 1943 Theresienstadt concentration camp cast.

This year, Am Yisrael Chai! presents "Survival of the Spirit." Our annual program will include a keynote address by Ela Weissberger, a child survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp who will tell her story of survival and the struggle to preserve the human spirit despite enormous adversity.

Theresienstadt housed many of Europe's distinguished artists, composers, musicians and authors. The Brundibar music was smuggled into the Theresienstadt camp, where composer, Hans Krasa, adapted it for the children's opera. Ela performed the role of the cat in the Children's Opera "Brundibar". She participated in each of the 55 performances, including the one filmed for the International Red Cross Visit in 1944. Most of the cast members, musicians and the composer were transported to their deaths in Auschwitz. Of the 15,000 children who entered Theresienstadt only 150 survived.

Ela is one of them.