My Polish Wisnia How My Grandfather Survived The Holocaust, Through Story & Song
Avi Wisnia shares the stories and songs of his late 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. Presented in multi-media presentations and concerts, 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, their journey featured in the PBS documentary “How Saba Kept Singing.” By 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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After the 70th Anniversary ceremony at the Auschwitz concentration camp, many of the survivors returned for dinner to the Dialogue Center – an old convent located very close to the camp that was housing many of us for the days leading up to the event. It seems these days had been intense for everyone. Reliving […]
On the train back to Warsaw with My Polish Wisnia. I am still sorting through a lot of emotions and thoughts after spending time in Auschwitz. My grandfather had taken me 11 years ago as well, but this time has been different. I am feeling more of a connection to Poland itself. I am feeling more […]
Just in case you didn’t think we were staying at a classy hotel, there is a glass candy dish at the front desk. I unwrapped a candy and put it in my mouth before I noticed it had my name printed on the wrapper. In Polish, wiśnia means cherry. You can find Wisnias in lots […]
Wherever we went in Poland, there were signs for Kantors, or Money Exchanges. Some were regular Kantors, open during normal business hours; and some were open at all times, the 24-Hour Non-Stop Kantors. And that was the big joke between us, because that has been my grandfather’s title for the past several decades. The Cantor. […]