In spring 1943 the surviving Jews of the Warsaw ghetto started an uprising against the German occupation force. The Germans thought they would be able to put down the uprising within 3 days - the fact is that the ensuing fight lasted 4 weeks. Many Jews were killed on the spot, the survivors sent to the gas chambers of Treblinka.
After Hitler's rise to power in 1933 Schönberg revertd to Judaism and took an active part in Jewish matters.
"A Survivor from Warsaw" is a musical memorial that Schönberg dedicated to the holocaust. It is a work of protest which honours the defenders of the Warsaw ghetto. A survivor from the Warsaw ghetto, who told Schönberg the details of the event, provided the story.
For the musical understanding of "A Survivor from Warsaw" no experience with twelve-note music is necessary. The expressive power of the work, especially in connection with the text, always leaves a deep impression on the listener.
A survivor from Warsaw (original text)
Ein Überlebender aus Warschau (Übersetzung)