Esther Bejarano geb. Loewy (* 15. Dezember 1924 in Saarlouis) ist eine deutsch-jüdische Überlebende des Vernichtungslagers Auschwitz. Mit Anita Lasker-Wallfisch und anderen spielte sie im Mädchenorchester von Auschwitz.- photo by Sven Teschke, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0-de, via Wikimedia Commons (Source)

Esther Béjarano (née Löwy; born 15 December 1924, died 10 July 2021), along with Anita Lasker Wallfisch, was one of the last survivors of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz.


Biography

Béjarano was born Esther Löwy, a daughter of the head cantor of a Jewish municipality, in Saarlouis.[1] Her father encouraged his daughter to get interested in music and Esther learned to play the piano. At the age of 15 she had to leave her parents’ home to make an attempt to emigrate to Palestine; the attempt was unsuccessful. She served two years of hard labour at a camp in Landwerk Neuendorf [de], near Fürstenwalde/Spree.

On 20 April 1943, everyone in the camp was deported to Auschwitz. There she had to drag stones until she joined the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, where she played the accordion. The orchestra had the task of playing for the daily march of the gangs by the camp gate. She emigrated to Palestine on 15 September 1945 and in 1960 returned to Germany with her husband and two children.[2] At the beginning of the 1980s, with her daughter Edna and son Joram, she created the musical group Coincidence. They sing songs from the ghetto and Jewish as well as anti-fascist songs. Béjarano lives in Hamburg.

She is a co-founder and chairman of the International Auschwitz Committee and honorary chairman of the Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime.


Awards and honours

She was awarded the Carl von Ossietzky medal and holds the Cross of Merit, First class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

She was honored with ethecon‘s 2013 “Blue Planet Award” [3] for her “relentless activity for peace and against anti-Semitism, racism and fascism”.[4]


 

Film

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