I'm changing up the pace on this post and instead of sharing something about the latest fashion trend or the newest restaurant, I'm writing about something more impactful. This past weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Violins of Hope exhibit at the Nashville Public Library. Violins of Hope are a collection of restored violins that were owned and played by Jews during the Holocaust, and are in town from Tel Aviv, Israel on behalf of the Nashville Symphony. The Nashville Symphony also showcased the instruments in a couple different performances at the Schermerhorn. (Complete list of dates here.) I didn't know what to expect, and I honestly thought that I was just going to look at some violins.
This visit was definitely not what I remotely imagined. Not only are the violins on display, the past of the instruments are recorded in detail for visitors to read, and stories of survivors and liberators that reside in Tennessee line the walls of the art gallery. These stories bring back to life the horrific events that wrote world history as we know it.
The second floor of the library explains how and why certain individuals were selected to play the violins during the Holocaust, as well as how racial segregation impacted Tennessee plus the on-going ethnic cleansing going on today.
This exhibit was an eye-opener and very sobering. It breaks my heart to think of what happened in the past during World World II and how this is still happening in our world today. One saying that has been adopted after the end of WWII is, "never again" - yet, we're letting history repeat itself. The exhibit ended with moving reminders to be kind to one another, to not get caught up with the "popular" decision and to stand up for what you believe in.