Orpheus Trust presents here its activities from 1996 to 2006.
The Orpheus Trust was the first association to dedicate itself to active and systematic research, documenting music life in Austria or from the former 'Danube Empire', that has been persecuted and annihilated during Nazism. By collecting, performing and publishing it revealed the immense loss of knowledge about this period: thousands of musicians have been murdered or driven out of the country, their music and materials scattered to the four winds. After ten years the Orpheus Trust had to dissolve itself and stop its activities, since the public, in particular Austria's cultural and educational policymakers were not interested enough to enable this mission in an appropriate way. But our commitment continues.
IT IS TIME, TO SECURE TRACES
They were persecuted and expelled, forced to emigrate to countries whose language they did not speak. They had problems coming to terms with the new social and cultural conditions they were facing.
The ‚Third Reich’ was the starting point for unheard-of persecutions. For political and ‚racial’ reasons composers, conductors, musicians and musicologists from Austria or from countries that formerly had been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire were tortured, murdered or exiled from their home countries and their intellectual environment.
For some refugees the country of exile was just a stop-over, but for most of them there was no return after 1945: they were not welcomed back.
Oblivion and ignorance followed the end of the Nazi era in the German speaking countries. For decades archives carelessly handled important artistic documents and, furthermore, the spirit of that period for a long time prevented extensive research and documentation.
Wind blows away the traces of history ...
It is time to secure them.