Mich. professor unearths inmates’ music from Auschwitz

Jeff Karoub
Associated Press

Detroit – A University of Michigan ensemble is going to play a musical arrangement that hasn’t been heard since it was performed by prisoners at Auschwitz during World War II.

The Contemporary Directions Ensemble last month recorded “The Most Beautiful Time of Life” – the title translated from German to English. It will perform the piece Friday during a free on-campus concert.

Music theory professor Patricia Hall discovered the handwritten manuscript while doing research at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland.


Hall says that despite “a horrendous situation” in the death camps, it’s remarkable to find beautiful music made by its prisoners. She said it’s a significant historical find that allows people to hear what a beautiful piece from such a horrific place actually sounded like.

Hall also found several similar manuscripts that were arrangements of hits from that era.