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Listen and Find Your Way to Freedom
Mosha was once a dark-haired beauty. But now, a black hollowness surrounded her eyes. And she was death-camp, stick-figure thin.
She was death-camp, stick-figure thin because that's where she was.
Her face was swollen and bruised.
Beatings were her daily bread.
Mosha was a classical piano teacher. Loved Beethoven.
Mosha had been teaching a student Moonlight Sonata when they came for her. They shot and killed her student but kept her alive. One needs classical music such as Beethoven’s, to uplift the soul and keep spirits soaring when working in a death camp. So they kept her alive.
The Nazi officers asked her to play for them.
They asked her.
Music was not for a death camp.
And Beethoven was sacred.
So they placed both of her hands on a rock. Took turns, made a game out of gaily breaking her fingers, one by one, with their rifle butts.
She could have played.
She could have given in.
Instead she defied.
Music was so sacred to her.
She made her stand, sprawled on the ground in agony. But she didn’t give up her sacred gift. She held onto it. Tighter than to life itself.
And when, through the haze of a misery beyond comprehension, her fleeing life parting death's lips, she would hear, or think she heard, Beethoven’s music being played in the officer’s club, she stirred … and would say in her teacher’s voice:
“Shush! Be quiet now and listen to the deaf man’s symphony.
If you listen as he did, you will hear the way to freedom.” - Mosha