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A recently discovered radio broadcast from 1945 documents the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the Bri

08 Nov
A recently discovered radio broadcast from 1945 documents the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British Army and the survivors singing a song of hope with their limited remaining strength...
We were emailed a moving piece of history, in the form of a recently discovered audio recording, documenting the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British Army and the survivors singing a song of hope with their limited remaining strength ...

A friend passed along this email:

Scott Simon of NPR reports on a rare recording of "Hatikva" (the Israeli national anthem - the title means "The Hope") from almost 62 years ago.

It was recorded by a British reporter on April 20, 1945 in Bergen-Belsen, when the British army liberated the few thousand survivors left alive in the camp, half of whom were Jewish, and most of them in an extremely weakened state. The audio was recently discovered and then loaned to NPR by the Smithsonian Institute.

A British priest organized prayers for a Sabbath service for the Jews. It was the first time, after six years of war and after more than 10 years of persecution that they could sing in Hebrew without being afraid. With a lot of effort, the Jews organized themselves and, knowing they were being recorded, sang "Hatikva".

Picturing them in the midst of all the death and destruction of the concentration camp, singing this meaningful song of hope and yearning, after all they had been through, renders this a very moving scenario.

If you turn your speakers on and click on the line below, you’ll hear the original broadcast - the reporter describing the horrific scene and the weakened but determined voices of the newly liberated singers.

http://genealogy.org.il/BergenBelsenHatikva.mp3

The translation of Hatikva reads as follows:


The Hope

As long as deep in the heart
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And towards the East
An eye looks to Zion,


Our hope is not yet lost -
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our own land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award

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