Krakow by no means had an orchestra, writes Jolanta Łada- Zielke, till Poland’s Nazi overlord Hans Frank created the Krakow Philharmonic, principally for the advantage of SS genocidal murderers on the Auschwitz focus camp close by.
Jolanta argues that three German conductors of the orchestra had been instrumental in saving Polish lives. One was Rudolf Hindemith, brother of the exiled German composer. One other, Hans Rohr (pictured), might have been secretly murdered by the SS for his attemts to create dialogue between Poles and Germans. Jolanta has talked to 2 surviving musicians.
The sensible Polish harpist Helena Rostkowska-Smoczny needed to transfer from Warsaw to Kraków. For her household, nevertheless, this paid off. Director Rohr introduced her brother and stepson out of Auschwitz, and her husband returned from captivity. “However Helena Rostkowska and the opposite Polish soloists didn’t need their names to look on posters ,” says Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa. “They didn’t need to be suspected of voluntarily collaborating with the occupying forces, of being the beneficiaries of the regime.”
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