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 Part II Day 2
Warsaw, when we are here, you are never not grey. We have been indulging in Polish cuisine: pierogi, kielbasa, cabbage, kluski, and soup. Hot soup. Scalding hot soup. If the soup is not on the verge of boiling, my grandfather will send it back. Soup is a part of his identity. It is one […]
Poland Part II Day 3.1
We had one important stop to make on our way through Warsaw before we reached the venue where we would perform. Krochmalna 43. My grandfather grew up on Krochmalna Street, at the corner of Waliców. It used to be rare for me to hear him talk about his childhood and life before the war. He […]
Poland Part II Day 3.2
My Polish Wisnia and I have arrived at our concert venue! Here we are, greeting ourselves. Look at this beautiful poster the good ppl of Fabryka Trzciny put together! This is going to be one classy affair. See you inside. Sound Check at Warsaw’s Fabryka Trzchiny Theater. This old factory used to produce cigarettes, […]
Poland Part II Day 3.3
My Polish Wisnia, Live in Warsaw! Every language and every culture has a popular song dedicated to Mother. One of my grandfather’s standards is Momele. To know his history and to perform Momele with him in this place is a gift. (He then threw in the Italian Mama Son Tanto Felice, for good measure.) Performing […]
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