My Polish Wisnia How My Grandfather Survived The Holocaust, Through Story & Song
Avi Wisnia shares the stories and songs of his grandfather, Cantor David S. Wisnia. The “My Polish Wisnia” project traces David’s harrowing life journey from young Polish singing star to Auschwitz prisoner to American liberator with the 101st Airborne. Through it all, Cantor Wisnia’s remarkable singing voice helped save his life, especially in the Nazi concentration camp. Through story and song, My Polish Wisnia explores the importance of preserving David’s memories and experiences, as chronicled in his memoir “One Voice, Two Lives.” The project revolves around musical performances which highlight the powerful intergenerational connection between grandfather and grandson. The Wisnias most recently traveled to Poland to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Through sharing his grandfather’s story, Avi highlights the urgency of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and passing on this legacy from generation to generation.
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Poland Day 4
Winter in Poland. It’s like being in Pennsylvania, but with less vowels. We boarded a train leaving Warsaw, heading towards Katowice on our way to the next destination: Auschwitz. We put our bags down on a random seat to get our bearings. Neither one of us had any idea how to read the ticket for […]
Poland Day 5
When we arrive in Auschwitz – or Oswiecim, as the town is known in Polish – our liaison from the Auschwitz Memorial & Museum had a surprise waiting for my grandfather… Copies of documents relating to his time in Auschwitz, documents with his name, and his number 83526 (which ultimately became his name during his time at […]
Poland Day 6
Imagine Hell. Now imagine being rescued from hell, and returning. I can’t. I am trying very very hard, and I can’t. I am on a bus about to enter Auschwitz-Birkenau, watching my grandfather pass by the wooden-shelf bunks where he slept as a prisoner in the concentration camp for 3 years of his life, and […]
Poland Day 6 Part II
Today commemorates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Death Camp,International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We started in Warsaw, where my grandfather grew up. We traveled through the Polish countryside to end up where my grandfather ended up, in Auschwitz. He often says he has two lives: one before the war, and one after the […]
BuzzFeed Video: "How I Escaped The Holocaust"
Seattle Holocaust Center: "How Music Saved My Grandfather in Auschwitz"
David Wisnia Sings Prayer at Auschwitz 70th Anniversary Event in Poland
Museum of American Jewish History Virtual Program
“Remembering the Holocaust" Program at Bucks County UU
Levittown Legends, The David Wisnia Story
David Wisnia’s memoir, available in paper-back