The following is the first excerpt from a 36 page handwritten document written by my grandmother Anna Skrainka Schilling. She called the document My Life in Music because of the very important role music played in her life. My brother Dr F. M. Eggert has transcribed the handwriting and I've translated (with his help).
Since I am a Jew when the whole devilment of the Hitler era began, music was out of the question. A long, overwhelming silence intruded into my life; none of the beauty of music remained as solace. Only in Theresienstadt, in a concentration camp, did music begin to heal these wounds. Music helped me find the will to help others and to overcome the wretched conditions of that horrific camp.
In Theresien courageous people found one another—those who would not succumb to the horrific conditions and who would not let go of the goodness in their souls. There were concerts whose musical offerings were faultless. It didn’t matter where they occurred. Sometimes they were in the stables, sometimes in a large barracks.
Are you a Skrainka, Sskranka, Skreinka … ?