Holocaust victim relied on music to survive

While some victims of the Second World War consider the Allies their liberators, one Holocaust survivor considers music his liberator.

In 1941, following their eviction from Romania, Joseph Leinburd and his family took all of their belongings with them on a train, endured a death march, then sold most of their belongings for some shelter in Ukraine.

Under such harsh conditions, Leinburd said he relied on his attachment to music, to bring hope during the war.

“I listen to music every night,” Leinburd said. “I do many things that other people in my situation don’t do.”

During this year’s Remembrance observances, Leinburd spoke of his eviction from his home and the conditions he endured where he was forced to live near the southwestern region of Ukraine. His presentation took place, last Tuesday, at Sanderson Public Library.

Born into a musical family in Suceava, Romania, in 1922, Leinburd learned how to play the violin at the age of eight. In school, he played as a part of his school’s orchestra and loved doing it. That was of course, until the Second World War broke out, affecting his ability to play.

One thing Leinburd never forgot was to practice his violin. And after all this time, he continues to practise the violin. His arms are too weak however to play the way he used to.

“I can no longer play like I used to, but I still pluck. What can I say 92 is 92,” he said, referring to his age. “I still love to do what I’ve done before (music) and I do it with pleasure. It brings me back memories … but I live with it.”