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The Women’s Orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau with Susan J. Eischeid (in person)

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. This event is co-presented by the JFCS Holocaust Center.

The women’s orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau, composed entirely of prisoners, was the only one of its kind in the entire Nazi camp system. Susan Eischeid, who spent years researching the orchestra and interviewing surviving members, will present its history and dispel some of the myths surrounding it. She will discuss the orchestra’s musicians, living conditions, repertoire, and the famed conductor and virtuoso violinist Alma Rosé. Eischeid will also discuss Maria Mandl, the Head Overseer of the women’s camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, who founded and championed the orchestra, even while she was responsible for the murder of thousands of prisoners.

Books will be available for signing.

Susan J. Eischeid is professor of oboe at Valdosta State University. A performer and teacher specializing in the music of the Holocaust, she has spent two decades researching the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Eischeid details her findings in The Truth about Fania Fénelon and the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Mistress of Life and Death: The Dark Journey of Maria Mandl, Head Overseer of the Women’s Camp at Auschwitz-BIrkenau (Citadel, 2024). She has also recorded and released an album of Holocaust music on the ACA Digital label.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024


Pacific Time
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

More Info

Register Here




Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115