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Art in tune with poignant tale of violin

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

The true story of a violin which saved the life of a woman in Auschwitz during the Second World War has been told by students at a Shrewsbury school.

Year 10 pupils at The Priory School have created an exhibition called The Holocaust Notes - inspired by a book called The Fiddle, which was written by local author Natalie Cumming.

Natalie, who now lives in Shropshire, visited the school on Friday for a special private viewing of the exhibition which is made up of art, music, creative writing, poetry and history.

Hannah Edwards, school librarian, said: “This exhibition is for everyone in the school - Natalie and her family’s extraordinary story inspired the students and it is a reminder to challenge prejudice and hate.”

Students from The Priory School in Shrewsbury who have created an exhibition after learning about the holocaust thanks to a visit from writer Natalie Cumming who wrote the book The Fiddle. Pupils, staff and guests listening to poetry and readings the The Fiddle

The true story traces a precious violin across landscapes devastated by war and terror to safety and restoration in Britain.

It is a particularly special violin as it taught the children of Nicholas II - the last Emperor of Russia - before it was passed to Natalie's aunt Rosa.

Rosa played the violin in three concentration camps - Mauthausen, Auschwitz and Belsen - and was part of the women’s orchestra in each camp.

It is said that the violin undoubtedly saved her life as the orchestras gave some protection from the harshest living and working conditions in the camps.

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Students from The Priory School in Shrewsbury who have created an exhibition after learning about the holocaust thanks to a visit from writer Natalie Cumming who wrote the book The Fiddle. Students at the front reading from The Fiddle to the guests

Amazingly it was returned to Rosa and more recently, it was eventually restored for the BBC TV programme The Repair Shop and donated to the Surrey-based Yehudi Menuhin School for the musically gifted.

Head of English, Ruth Shaw, said: "This project will encourage our students to make meaningful and memorable connections with the past, through music, text and image.”

Rev Kenneth Chippendale, Shropshire Councillor Nic Laurens and Lois Dale, rurality and equalities specialist at Shropshire Council, were also invited to the private viewing.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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