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New Documentary Unveils 'Schindler' of Music World

Most people have never heard of Branislav Huberman. The great Polish violinist founded the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and used music to rescue hundreds of Jews from Nazis death camps. Read Transcript


Reporter: THE ACADEMY

AWARD-WINNING MOVIE,

SCHINDLER'S LIST, INTRODUCED

THE WORLD TO OSCAR SCHINDLER

AND HIS RESCUING GERMANS

FROM THE NAZI DEATH CAMPS.

BUT WHO WAS BRANISLAV

HUBERMAN?

HE WAS THE SCHINDLER OF

THE MUSIC WORLD.

SCHINDLER SAVED A THOUSAND

PEOPLE, AND HUBERMAN SAVED A

THOUSAND PEOPLE AND NO ONE

KNOWS HIM.

Reporter: HE TELLS

HUBERMAN'S STORY IN THE

DOCUMENTARY, "ORCHESTRA OF

EXILES."

HE WAS A GREAT, GREAT

VIOLINIST, A GREAT ARTIST,

AND A GREAT MAN.

Reporter: HUBERMAN

BEGAN PLAYING THE VIOLIN AT

AGE EIGHT.

HE PERFORMED THROUGHOUT

EUROPE AND FELL IN LOVE WITH

THE AUDIENCES IN PALESTINE.

THE FILM IS ABOUT A MAN

WHO STARTS THE CULTURAL LIFE

OF ISRAEL BY FOUNDING THE

PALESTINE SYMPHONY.

IT IS ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY

AND THE TREMENDOUS OBSTACLES

IN THE WAY OF HUBERMAN IN

DOING THIS.

*

IT WAS BEFORE

CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

IT IS BEFORE WE KNEW WHAT

WAS COMING IN GERMANY.

HE TALKED TO PEOPLE ABOUT

HOW DANGEROUS IT WAS GOING

TO GET.

IT WAS EERIE THAT HE HAD

THIS SENSE.

AND BECAUSE OF THAT SORT OF

INNER CONVICTION THAT WAS

VERY DANGEROUS FOR JEWS IN

GERMANY, AND THAT JEWS HAD

TO GET OUT.

Reporter: BY THE END OF

1935, EVERY JEW IN THE

BERLIN PHILHARMONIC

ORCHESTRA HAD LEFT, AND MOST

HAD BEEN FIRED.

EVENTUALLY, THE NAZI INVITED

ONLY SO-CALLED SPECIAL JEWS

TO PERFORM.

HUBERMAN REFUSED.

FROM THE MOMENT HITLER

CAME IN, HUBERMAN SAID HE

WOULD NEVER PLAY THERE AGAIN

UNTIL EVERY JEW WAS BACK IN

THEIR SEATS.

HE SAID HE WOULDN'T GO

OTHERWISE.

Reporter: EVENTUALLY

HUBERMAN DECIDED TO FORM THE

PALATINE ORCHESTRA, THAT

WOULD PERFORM MUSIC AT THE

VERY HIGHEST LEVELS.

HE WANTED TO SHOW THE WORLD

THAT THE NAZIS AND THEIR

ANTI-JEWISH POLICIES WERE

OPPOSED.

HUBERMAN AUDITIONED THE BEST

MUSICIANS, MOST WERE JEWS

EXILED FROM CENTRAL EUROPEAN

ORCHESTRAS.

MUSICIANS LIKE DAVID

GRUNSLAG.

AND HUBERMAN HELPED DAVID

AND HIS FAMILY MOVE TO

PALESTINE.

LUCKILY FOR MY FAMILY,

NOBODY HAD TO GO THROUGH THE

ORDEALS OF CONCENTRATION

CAMPS, THANKS TO HUBERMAN.

BECAUSE BY GETTING MY FATHER

OUT IN 1936 TO PALESTINE,

NOT ONLY SAVED HIS LIFE, BUT

ALSO HIS SISTERS.

Reporter: ONE SISTER

WAS 20 YEARS OLD, AND THE

OTHER WAS ONLY 16.

THEY WERE A FEW YEARS

APART.

Reporter: AS HITLER'S

POWER AND INFLUENCE GREW,

THE GRUNSLAG GIRLS KNEW THEY

HAD TO GET OUT.

AFTER SEVERAL AGENCIES

VETOED THEIR REQUEST, THEY

SENT A LETTER TO HUBERMAN.

THEY WROTE HIM, YOU ARE

OUR LAST HOPE.

PLEASE HELP US.

Reporter: HUBERMAN

AGREED TO HELP.

SIX WEEKS LATER, THE TWO

WOMEN RECEIVED STUDENT VISAS

AND WERE ON THEIR WAY TO

PALESTINE.

HE MADE IT ALL HAPPEN,

YES.

HE KNEW ANY JEW THAT GETS

OUT OF EUROPE IS PROBABLY --

HE PROBABLY SAVED HIS LIFE

OR AT LEAST SPARED HIM A LOT

OF MISERY AND A LOT OF

SUFFERING.

*

Reporter: AND IN THE

PROCESS, HUBERMAN BROUGHT

MUSIC AND CULTURE TO THE

DESERT.

IT WAS A BIG DEAL, COMING

TO A LAND WHERE THE CULTURE

IS ALMOST NON-EXISTENT, BUT

EVERYBODY IS VERY, VERY

THIRSTY FOR IT.

THERE WAS A LOT OF

EXCITEMENT IN THE AIR, YOU

KNOW.

THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE, WITH

A COUNTRY IN THE MAKING.

Reporter: LED BY

ITALIAN CONDUCTOR COSTANINI,

THE PALESTINE ORCHESTRA

PERFORMED ITS FIRST CONCERT

ON DECEMBER 26, 1936.

THE EVENT WAS BROADCAST ON

RADIO AND HEARD BY MILLIONS

AROUND THE WORLD.

HUBERMAN ALSO STARTED A

MUSIC SCHOOL.

HE INSISTED THAT ALL

SYMPHONY PLAYERS INSTRUCT

OTHERS, SO A NEW GENERATION

OF MUSICIANS COULD BE BUILT

IN PALESTINE.

WHEN ISRAEL BECAME A STATE

IN 1948, THE PALESTINE

SYMPHONY WAS RENAMED, THE

ISRAEL FIL PHILHARMONIC

ORCHESTRA.

AND HIS LEGACY LIVES ON.

TODAY THE SEEDS OF

CULTURE THAT HUBERMAN

PLANTED HERE, THAT HE

BROUGHT FROM CENTRAL

EUROPE -- WE ARE REAPING ITS

REWARDS TODAY, AND WE WILL

CONTINUE TO REAP ITS

REWARDS.

I IMAGINE YOU'RE A GREAT

ADMIRER OF HUBERMAN?

I AM A GREAT ADMIRER OF

HUBERMAN.

Reporter: WHAT DO YOU

ADMIRE THE MOST?

FOR A MAN TO STAND UP

AGAINST INTOLERANCE, AND TO

SACRIFICE SO MUCH OF

HIMSELF, AND TO CHANGE

HIMSELF IN DOING IT, HE SAW

SOMETHING HAPPENING IN THE

WORLD THAT DEMANDED A

RESPONSE.

AND I HOPE THIS IS THE

LESSON OF THE FILM, SO MANY

PEOPLE ARE SO QUICK TO LOOK

THE OTHER WAY.

Reporter: AARONSON'S

FILM HELPS PEOPLE TO LIKE AT

ANTI-SEMITISM, AND SEE HOW

ONE MAN USED MUSIC TO SAVE

HUNDREDS OF LIVE, BUT ALSO

TO RESTORE A LITTLE BIT OF

HUMANITY TO AN ENTIRE

WORLD.

*

Reporter: GARY LANE,

CBN NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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