No crying here

Book presentation and discussion

With musical accompaniment on the mandolin


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The central content of the event is the memory of the life story of Rachela Zelmanowicz Olewski, which was published in the autobiographical book: “Weinen hier verboten” – A Jewish girl in Bendzin, Poland, in the Bendzin ghetto and in hiding, in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz, in Bergen-Belsen and Israel. 1921-1987

Rachela Zelmanowicz was born in early October 1921 in the Polish town of Będzin/Bendzin – in the “Jerusalem of the Zaglembie” – into a well-situated traditional Jewish family after her brother Zalman Dov (Ber, Beniek – Dov “Ben Barak”), who was four years older, attended the Fürstenberg Jewish Grammar School in Bendzin and was a member of the Zionist Hanoár Hazióni movement. After the beginning of the Second World War, the Zelmanowicz family lived in the Bendzin ghetto, where their mother died. The ghetto was evacuated in the summer of 1943 and the family was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at the beginning of August 1943. The father was killed immediately by gas on the day of his arrival – his 53rd birthday; the brother was murdered after taking part in the Sonderkommando revolt in Birkenau.

Rachela played the mandolin and became an amateur musician in the girls’ orchestra (women’s orchestra) led by Alma Rosé in Birkenau. In the end, she owed her survival to her mandolin playing, to Rozka Rembiszewska, who persuaded her to join the orchestra, and to the girls’/women’s orchestra itself. On November 1, 1944, she was taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Celle with the other surviving members of the orchestra and liberated there by the British army on April 15, 1945.


Musical opening on the mandolin | Alon Sariel
Welcome and opening | Christoph Bors, State Representative Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. e.V.
Greeting | Eliah Sakakushev-von Bismarck, Managing Director Villa Seligmann
Guest Lecture / Introduction | Arie Olewski, son of Rachela Zelmanowicz Olewski and representative of the second generation of the Bergen-Belsen Survivors Organization (English with translation)
Interlude | Alon Sariel
Book reading | Corinna Luedtke
Q&A session with the audience
Musical finale | Alon Sariel
Exchange of ideas and drinks reception

Admission free only after registration
Admission is from 5.30 pm.
The current corona regulations of the state of Lower Saxony apply.

An event organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Political Education Center Lower Saxony, Head: Christoph Bors