In the Loop

Protest Requiem

  • Date & Time
    • Saturday, April 18, 2015 7:30pm 2015-04-18 07:30:00 pm1969-12-31 07:00:00 pmAmerica/New_YorkProtest RequiemCurtis M. Phillips, M.D. Center for the Performing Arts
  • Cost
    • $10 Students
    • $25
    • $30
    • $40
    • $55
      VIP level: Includes invitation to a pre-performance reception at 6:30 p.m. catered by Blue Water Bay and a post-performance toast and meet and greet with the performers
  • Description

    Will Kesling, Conductor
    Stella Zambalis, Soprano
    Regina Torres, Mezzo-Soprano
    Mark Thomsen, Tenor
    Stephen Saxon, Bass

    The University of Florida (UF) Choral Union, representing the UF School of Music’s Concert Choir and The Gainesville Civic Chorus Master Chorale, present Protest Requiem. Joined by the UF Symphony Orchestra and numerous guest soloists, Protest Requiem features Verdi’s Requiem, performed in remembrance of the Holocaust, and to honor the members of the chorus and orchestra in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Despite the daily brutality of the Nazis, these inmates found in their performances the strength to help overcome for a while the feeling of desperation and hopelessness. The result was so sublime that the SS used the concerts for their own cynical propaganda purposes. Led by conductor Rafael Schächter, the Theresienstadt chorus performed Verdi’s Requiem more than fifteen times, with the words expressing a kind of defiance for the performers. 

    Thank You, Partners

    Gainesville Chapter of Hadassah 
    The Gainesville Civic Chorus 
    Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica 
    Jewish Council of North Central Florida 
    UF Hillel 
    Visit Gainesville

    Additional Educational Programming

    MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015 | 12-2 PM
    “Frozen Time, Liquid Memories: 1942-2012” Film Screening & Q&A with Dragan Kujundžić
    UF campus, The Judaica Suite in Smathers Library East (1545 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32611)
    “Frozen Time, Liquid Memories: 1942-2012” is a film by Dragan Kujundžić, a professor of film and media studies, Jewish, Germanic, and Slavic Studies at the University of Florida. The footage filmed by Kujundžić commemorates the 70 years since the two round-ups of the Jews and Serbs in Novi Sad (today Serbia) in January 1942, and of the Jews in Paris in July 1942. 

    MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015 | 5:30-6:15 PM
    “Sing Me to Heaven: Songs of Remembrance” Presented by Vox Madrigalis
    UF campus, The Judaica Suite in Smathers Library East (1545 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32611)
    Vox Madrigalis is a semi-professional ensemble consisting of graduate and undergraduate students and community members in and around Gainesville. “Sing Me to Heaven: Songs of Remembrance” is a meditation on themes of life and death, timely and untimely. The program will feature obscure gems from the choral repertory and new music written by Vox Madrigalis’ director, Joshua L. Mazur, including a setting of several poems written by children in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

    TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015 | 12-1:30 PM
    Lecture by Professor Geoffrey J. Giles: “Theresienstadt: The Nazi Fiction of the ‘Privileged’ Ghetto”
    UF campus, The Judaica Suite in Smathers Library East (1545 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32611)
    The Nazis marketed their ghetto at Theresienstadt as a kind of retirement community for well-off, older Jews, a safe haven from the unpleasantness of anti-Semitic outbursts in their hometowns. Many distinguished Jews, including some from occupied countries, fell for this and packed their bags for the walled town near Prague. What they experienced differed little from the most overcrowded concentration camps. A short respite came when the SS agreed to a visit of inspection by the International Red Cross. In preparation for this, food rations were increased to make the inmates look healthier, and several beautification projects improved the appearance of the town. When the Red Cross departed, entirely satisfied, after a rudimentary inspection lasting no more than six hours, the Nazi authorities decided to make a film of this “model” camp. After its completion, most of the temporarily robust inmates were shipped off to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

     WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015 | 2:30-3:30 PM
    A Tour of the Memorial Books: How East European Jewry Worked Through Loss 
    UF campus, The Judaica Suite in Smathers Library East (1545 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32611)
    Jack Kugelmass is Professor of Anthropology and the Sam Melton Professor and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida. He received a B.A. from McGill University, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research. He previously taught at the Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arizona State University. He has edited and authored numerous works of anthropology and Jewish Studies, including From A Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry (Indiana University Press, 1998), which is regarded as a seminal work in the field, and The Miracle of Intervale Avenue: The Story of a Jewish Congregation in the South Bronx.

    FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015 | 11:45 AM-1 PM
    Lecture by Dr. Eric Kurlander: “The Supernatural Roots of Nazi Anti-Semitism: Imagination, Demonization, and Genocide”
    UF History Department’s Conference Room, 005 Keene-Flint Hall
    Many historians highlight the “scientific” roots of Nazi anti-Semitism–– the role of Social Darwinism, eugenics, and racial “biopolitics” in facilitating the Holocaust. Yet Hitler and his colleagues frequently supplemented these “scientific” arguments with supernatural fantasies about Jewish evil and monstrosity. In this lecture, I argue that the history of imagining and demonizing German Jews as supernatural monsters was a crucial element in Nazi anti-Semitism and genocide.

    FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015 | 1:30-2:30 PM
    Lecture by Kyra Schuster: “American GIs and the Holocaust”
    UF Hillel (2020 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32603)
    Kyra Schuster, curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., will present a lecture about the story of 350 American soldiers who were captured as prisoners-of-war and sent to Berga, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, as told through their testimony and artifacts in the museum’s permanent collection.

    Related Community Activities 

    MARCH 22-31, 2015
    Fifth Annual Gainesville Jewish Film Festival 
    The Jewish Council of North Central Florida is proud to once again partner with the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida to offer a week of compelling and provocative films. For the full schedule of films and events, visit

    FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015 | 7:30 PM
    Shabbat Service to Highlight Czech Memorial Scroll
    Temple Shir Shalom (3855 NW 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32605)
    Members of the community are invited to this special Shabbat service, which will feature a Torah reading from the Czech Scroll that is on loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London, England. The Memorial Scrolls Trust, whose motto is “Remember. Challenge. Inspire.” was established to provide a home for over fifteen hundred scrolls rescued from the Nazis during World War II. Temple Shir Shalom’s scroll, which has been with the congregation since 1984, is also unique in that it uses a system of highly stylized “tagim” or markings on the letters. All Torah scrolls use these marks, but according to a recent assessment by a scribe from Sofer on Site, the particular kind of script contained in this Torah is very rare and there are only a handful of these scrolls left in existence. For more, visit

    SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015 | 7 PM
    The Mitzvah Project featuring Roger Grunwald
    Congregation B’nai Israel (3830 NW 16 Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605)
    Presented by the Jewish Council of North Central Florida, the Mitzvah Project is a remarkable combination of theater, history lesson and conversation in which actor and child of survivor, Roger Grunwald, explores one of the most shocking aspects of the Jewish experience during the Second World War. Through the story of Christoph Rosenberg, a German half-Jew, the one-person drama — created with director and co-author Annie McGreevey — reveals the surprising history of tens of thousands of German men known as “mischlings” — the derogatory term the Nazis used to characterize those descended from one or two Jewish grandparents — who served in Hitler’s army. This event is free and open to the public and is appropriate for older teens and adults. More at

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  • Venue
    Curtis M. Phillips, M.D. Center for the Performing Arts
    3201 Hull Road
    Phone 2
    Curtis M. Phillips, M.D. Center for the Performing Arts Website