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November 6, 2016
7:00 p.m.

The Folly Theater
12th and Central
Kansas City, Missouri

Private patron reception
5:15 to 6:30 p.m.
Muehlebach Hotel
Lobby Bar

Thank you to our lead patrons:


  • Ann and G. Kenneth Baum, in memory of Ilsa Dahl and Walter J. Cole

  • Trudy and John Jacobson


  • Fani and Bill Schifman, in memory of Mania and Israel Weindling

  • Blanche and Neil Sosland

With their arrival in 1946, the first wave of Holocaust survivors to call Kansas City home confronted their return to life. The conclusion of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that fall also marked a pivotal chapter in the pursuit of postwar justice.

MCHE will commemorate 70 years since these watershed events with a special concert featuring music performed by Jewish musicians once confined in the Kovno ghetto, assembled postwar at St. Ottilien in Bavaria, a monastery used as a Jewish hospital and displaced persons camp. The event will honor Kansas City’s Holocaust survivors.

Originally named the St. Ottilien Orchestra, later the Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra of the She’arit Hapleta (the Surviving Remnant), the group performed at the Liberation Concert, the first official gathering of Jewish survivors, held on May 27, 1945 at St. Ottilien. From 1945 to 1948, they played triumphantly in striped concentration camp uniforms in front of a banner that read “Am Yisrael Chai.” (“The People of Israel Live.”) On two occasions the musicians were joined by renowned conductor Leonard Bernstein.

After garnering praise for their inspirational performances throughout the American and British zones in Germany, the orchestra was invited to perform for prosecutors and staff of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and for the first Zionist congress in Basel, Switzerland. David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir were among the orchestra’s fans.

MCHE’s Return to Life Concert will showcase pieces from the orchestra’s Nuremberg program, performed by a 40-piece orchestra under the direction of James Murray III, director and conductor of the Northland Symphony, music coordinator and instructor at Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods.

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