A Long Island man is making a very special donation to a local Holocaust memorial. He is gifting an accordion that was given to him when he was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.
Several decades later, Alex Rosner, now 79, realizes the significance of that instrument whereas when he was a child he didn’t think it was a big deal.
A female Nazi guard gave the Traviata accordion to Alex in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland. He believes it was confiscated from someone who was sent to the gas chamber.
Music had a huge role in his family’s survival. Alex’s father, Henry, also played the violin for officers in the camp. At one point the instruments were actually taken from them, but fortunately were returned by Oscar Schindler when the family was reunited in Germany.
The family then emigrated to the United States. The musical instruments came with them. Alex held onto it ever since. Just a few months ago, he donated it to the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove.