Born in 1924 as the daughter of Jewish cantor Rudolf Loewy in French-occupied Saarlouis, the loved ones later on moved to Saarbruecken, wherever Bejarano savored a musical and sheltered upbringing right until the Nazis arrived to electrical power and the city was returned to Germany in 1935.
Her moms and dads and sister Ruth ultimately were being deported and killed, although Bejarano had to conduct compelled labor just before being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. There, she volunteered to turn into a member of the girls’ orchestra, enjoying the accordion every single time trains full of Jews from throughout Europe arrived.
Bejarano would say later on that tunes aided maintain her alive in the notorious German Nazi death camp in occupied Poland and during the many years right after the Holocaust.
“We played with tears in our eyes,” she recalled in a 2010 interview with The Related Press. “The new arrivals arrived in waving and applauding us, but we understood they would be taken specifically to the gasoline chambers.”
Mainly because her grandmother experienced been a Christian, Bejarano was later transferred to the Ravensbrueck focus camp and survived a loss of life march at the finish of the war.
In a memoir, Bejarano recalled her rescue by U.S. troops who gave her an accordion, which she played the working day American troopers and focus camp survivors danced all over a burning portrait of Adolf Hitler to celebrate the Allied victory above the Nazis.
Bejarano emigrated to Israel after the war and married Nissim Bejarano. The few had two youngsters, Edna and Joram, just before returning to Germany in 1960. Immediately after the moment once more encountering open up antisemitism, Bejarano determined to develop into politically lively, co-founding the Auschwitz Committee in 1986 to give survivors a platform for their stories.
She teamed up with her children to enjoy Yiddish melodies and Jewish resistance tracks in a Hamburg-centered band they named Coincidence, and also with hip-hop group Microphone Mafia to unfold an anti-racism message to German youth.
“We all really like music and share a popular intention: We’re battling against racism and discrimination,” she explained to the AP of her collaborations across cultures and generations.
Bejarano obtained various awards, such as Germany’s Purchase of Benefit, for her activism towards what she referred to as the “old and new Nazis,” quoting fellow Holocaust survivor Primo Levi’s warning that “it occurred, consequently it can occur again.”
Although addressing young people today in Germany and over and above, Bejarano would say, “You are not responsible of what transpired back again then. But you grow to be guilty if you refuse to listen to what transpired.”
She also didn’t shy absent from criticizing present-working day German officials, such as when tax authorities canceled the charitable standing of the country’s most important anti-fascist organization. The determination was later on reversed.
In a letter of condolence to her youngsters, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote that Bejarano experienced “experienced initially-hand what it usually means to be discriminated against, persecuted and tortured,” and lauded her educational work.
“We have endured a wonderful decline in her demise,” he additional. “She will often have a area in our hearts.”