Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Elton to Headline Auschwitz Life Festival

Over five decades on stage, more than 4000 performances in over 80 coun-tries. One of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists on history, Sir Elton John will be the headliner of Life Festival Oświęcim 2016, on Saturday, June 18.

Everyone knows such hits as "Sacrifice", "Nikita" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "Candle In The Wind" - one of the most popular singles of all times. Elton’s spectacular stage shows are sought after by audiences worldwide.

The concert during LFO 2016 will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible career, including a selection of songs from Elton’s upcoming album, “Wonderful Crazy Night”. His concert in Oświęcim will be a part of an international tournee promoting the album.

He will play with an exceptional band featuring Nigel Olsson on drums, Davey Johnstone on guitar, Matt Bissonette on bass, John Mahon on percussion, and Kim Bullard on keyboards.

Do not miss this concert! See you on Life Festival Oświęcim 2016!

Tickets for LFO2016 are already on sale.

I am very happy to be invited to play Life Festival Oswiecim. The fact that it is a festival dedicated to peace, which is so needed in the world at this time, could not be more appropriate. Like everyone, I am shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere. In June, in Oswiecim, we’ll be celebrating life, peace and music. This concert will give me the chance to thank my Polish fans who have been so faithful to me since I first played there in 1984.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is my hope Elton would re-consider performing in Ocwiecim/Auschwitz. While I do believe Elton' s intentions are good, I also believe he is making a serious mistake...I am a child of two Holocaust survivors who were liberated in Bergen Belsen concentration death camp. No far from where the concert will take place is Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1.5 million human beings were tortured, sent to gas chambers, into ovens, and their ashes remain to be buried or left for the wind to finish the job of erasing the evidence...In a mass grave filled with the ashes of murdered human beings, are where all four of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and countless cousins remain. My family story is only one of 1.3 million that can or cannot be told. Altogether, approximate 13 million human beings of all races, creeds, color and religions were murdered in the Holocaust. Aushwitz-Birkenau is considered to be the capital of the Holocaust.

Yes, I totally understand and I'm aware of the reasons for having concerts in Ocwiecim; to promote "peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders", and to "celebrate life, peace, and music". But, it is also as Ruth Ellen Gruber had written, "It's one of the latest steps in [the town's] ongoing struggle to re-define its role as a real, living city--and not just an appendage of the death camp where the Nazis murdered at least 1.5 million people, most of then Jews"...I am aware the concert is supported by the Jewish Museum in Ocwiecim, and I've been told by a few humanitarian organizations. I also believe in individual responsibility and accountability. The people of Ocwiecim today are not responsible for what had happened before and are not to be blamed for the sins of others. I know they have a right to hold a concert, a right to enjoy their lives. However, the concerts should be held anywhere but in Auschwitz/Ocwiecim. Auschwitz is sacred ground, whether it's on the outskirts of the camp or not, the world identifies Auschwitz as a place where horrific events had occurred; muttilations, dismemberments, torture, terror, and murder had occurred. It's a dreary and dreadful place. The sounds of music, cheer, singing, and dancing, in or around the camp is greatly insulting to the memory of its victims and their families. It's poring salt on the open wounds of 1.5 million souls. The camp and the town is synonymous. Ocwiecim was a town where approximately 80-90% were Jewish. They were all rounded up and taken to their deaths, many walking from their homes straight into the gas chambers.

Auschwitz/ Ocwiecim should be left alone. It's history should not be interrupted. It doesn't need a paint job, its reputation doesn't need to be watered down. It is very unfortunate for its citizens. Many people, including Jews, will disagree with me, I've already heard from them and I expect more will as I will remain outspoken. The Holocaust survivors I have spoken to are totally against it. They have suffered more than enough, and the suffering is intensified in their elderly and lonely lives, the memories return in full force.

I hope Elton will receive this letter, though it seems highly unlikely. He should take a different perspective on the matter seriously. Does he want to be known as a guy who played in Auschwitz? Would he be proud to say "I played in Auschwitz"? The likelihood that history will remember him for his good intentions is far slimmer than being remembered for performing in Auschwitz the death camp...Performing in Israel is one thing, but performing in Auschwitz is quite another.

Fred L. Zaidman