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Why were the Jewish musicians not allowed to play music by Beethoven in Chapter 4 of...

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joseph40 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM via web

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Why were the Jewish musicians not allowed to play music by Beethoven in Chapter 4 of Night?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2009 at 9:01 AM (Answer #1)

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The Jewish musicians were not allowed to play music by Beethoven because he was a famed German composer and musician; "Jews were not allowed to play German music".

The sense communicated by the restriction was that the Jews were not worthy to play the music of the German masters.  It goes along with the systematic denial of the Jews of rights and privileges accorded other citizens of the Nazi regime.  With the rise of Hitler, the Jews and other "undesirables" were first discriminated against, then persecuted, and finally eliminated from the fabric of German society through mass deportation and murder.  The prohibition against Jews playing German music was just one part of Hitler's movement to eradicate them in his "Final Solution" (Chapter 4).

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delze | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:05 AM (Answer #2)

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Jewish were not allowed to play music by Beethoven because he was a famed German composer and musician. Jews were not allowed to play German music. I know it kind of sounded lame there.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 22, 2015 at 6:44 PM (Answer #3)

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In Night, Elie Weisel tells his horrific story of being held in Auschwitz. In chapter four, the Jewish people were not allowed to play any music by Beethoven. Beethoven is the famed German composer. The SS, led by Adolf Hitler, thought that Germans were the supreme race, and that the Jewish people were nothing. Hitler wanted to eliminate the Jews altogether. They didn't think the Jews were pure enough to play anything that a German had composed. The Jews were not allowed to play any music that was from a German.

The Nazi's main goal was to dehumanize the Jewish population. They tried to strip them of everything that made them human. They shaved their heads, stripped their clothes and tattooed numbers in their arms. Their names were taken from them and they were only known by a number. By taking away their right to play music, was an even farther example of how the SS tried to make the Jewish people become nothing. What is interesting is the strong sense of who the Jews are. Their faith kept on living even among the most horrible conditions. There is even evidence that they celebrated Passover while in the camps. No matter how hard Hitler tried, he just couldn't break the spirit of the Jews.

Elie Weisel suffered and lost so much, but he still survived, and not just survived, but thrived. The SS tried to take even music away from them, but in the end they couldn't destroy to strength of the Jews. 

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