Opera on Nazi atrocities to children premieres in Vienna
VIENNA, Italy - An opera about Nazi atrocities on children suffering with physical and mental handicaps at a hospital in Vienna after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany had its world premiere Friday, January 25.
"Spiegelgrund" by contemporary Austrian composer Hannes Androsch was performed at the Austrian parliament. The composer has dedicated the work to his great-grandfather, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
The opera deals with the atrocities at the Am Spiegelgrund clinic in Vienna between 1938 and 1945, where many disabled children, mainly Jewish, died.
Revelations in recent years have shown that thousands of frail children were murdered as part of the Third Reich's "euthanasia" programme designed to rid society of people deemed unfit to live.
In the Vienna hospital alone, 789 sick and disabled children died.
"It is the duty of each generation to confront the tragedy of the Holocaust," said the 50-year-old composer.
In the opera, Androsch wanted to trace the continuing horror of atrocities against children from antiquity to Nazism.
His work includes descriptions by Plutarch of the draconian treatment of children in the Greek state of Sparta, and traditional children's songs evoking the mistreatment and the memories of those who survived the Vienna hospital.
The opera was unveiled as the world prepares to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, January 27, the date in 1945 when the Soviet army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in then occupied Poland. - Rappler.com