Friday, May 1, 2015

Erna's Requiem

Caryn Viterbi. Photo courtesy of John R. McCutchen
On April 28, the Union-Tribune published an article about Federation’s dedicated volunteer and community leader, Caryn Viterbi, titled “Continuing a Family Legacy.” The article talks about Caryn’s role in bringing the concert-drama “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin to fruition in San Diego and what motivated her to orchestrate the event.

For months, Caryn and her mother-in-law, Erna Viterbi z”ll, who passed away just two months ago, were working hand-in-hand with the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego (ADL) to bring Requiem to San Diego. The famed musical play, which has been performed all over the world, is about the defiance of Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in [what is now the Czech Republic].

As a survivor, delivering this performance to her local San Diego community was something that was very near and dear to Erna’s heart.

“Erna was passionate about educating younger generations. She often spoke to students throughout San Diego about her experiences during the Shoah, as a refugee fleeing the Nazis and the loss of most of her extended family. She was passionate, not only for the terrible losses our people experienced, but also as an important lesson that applied to all people whether they were Jews, or non-Jews, Rwandans or Cambodians or any other persecuted people. Erna strongly believed that lessons learned from the suffering of our people needed to be remembered for the benefit of all humanity.” – Caryn Viterbi

With Erna’s tragic passing, Caryn and ADL became even more vigilant in their commitment to bringing the project to life, and on May 7, Erna’s dream will be fulfilled.

“I agreed to co-chair this event, along with my mother-in-law Erna Viterbi, as we are both deeply committed to ADL’s mission to eliminate anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry of any kind, and secure justice and fair treatment for all,” said Caryn. “We felt “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” was a unique and innovative way to pay tribute to the legacy of the prisoners of Terezin, while at the same time educating our community to understand the dangers of hate and prejudice and inspire the creation of a world without hate.”

Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” will be performed by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale at Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall on May 7 at 7:30 PM.

Click here to purchase tickets to the performance.

Click here to read the full UT article written by Nina Garin.


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