Obituary for Coco Schumann

14 May 1924–28 January 2018

Coco Schumann at the multimedia Rafael Roth Learning Center in 2002; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jo Diener

The Jewish Museum Berlin grieves the loss of Coco Schumann. The guitarist and jazz musician passed away last Sunday at the age of ninety-three years old. Coco Schumann frequently performed as part of the Cultural Summer program, and his relationship with the Jewish Museum Berlin reaches back to its founding. For a long time, Coco Schumann’s life story could be retraced in the Rafael Roth Learning Center. It exposed museum visitors to a childhood cut short by National Socialist oppression—and a musical talent that granted young Schumann moments of self-assertion in the Berlin jazz clubs ostracized by the Nazis. This talent would also save his life in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.

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“In the quarry, children freeze in the rusty air”

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we recommend listening to Ruth Klüger’s speech – for the first time or once again. On 27 January 2016, the author talked in the German Bundestag about her experiences as a 13 year-old forced laborer in the women’s camp Christianstadt (Krzystkowice).

Introduction of Bundestag President Norbert Lammert and speech by Ruth Klüger (from 20:10) on 27 January 2016.

This year’s Ceremony of Remembrance in the German Bundestag will take place on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 at 1 pm. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch will give the commemorative speech. The ceremony will be broadcast live from 1 pm on the website of the Bundestag. You will find the English version at (www.bundestag.de/en).

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