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 Egon Ledec

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Egon Ledec Famous memorial

Birth
Death
18 Oct 1944 (aged 55)
Burial
Burial Details Unknown. Specifically: Died at Auschwitz concentration camp, Oswiecim, Poland
Memorial ID
39350789 View Source

Violinist, Composer. Born in Kostelec nad Orlici, Eastern Bohemia, he graduated from the Prague Conservatory in 1906 and was active as both soloist and an ensemble player. He performed in London several times with the Prague National Theatre Orchestra and garnered attention as a composer of light music. The World War I years saw him serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1926 Ledec was appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic under conductor Vaclav Talich. Europe's deteriorating political situation motivated him to compose the ambitious "Dawn" (1938), a monologue for vocalist and orchestra set to Fran Sramek's "The Eternal Soldier", which offered a chilling premonition of his own end. The following year the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia and he was expelled from the Philharmonic as a Jew. In the autumn of 1941 he was sent to the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp. Ledec immediately formed the camp's first music ensemble, the "Doctor's Quartet", so named because two its players were physicians; they gave clandestine weekly performances of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in an abandoned barracks, an activity that could have gotten them all shot. Instead it became an influential step in the establishment of the camp's Freizeitgestaltung ("Administration of Free Time Activities"), in which the inmates were allowed to develop a vigorous cultural scene despite hunger, disease, and the constant presence of death. The violinist was an eager and much loved participant in this movement, as leader of the Ledec Quartet, in solo recitals and as a member of any classical orchestra that could be cobbled together. He also managed to write music and his charming "Gavotte" for string quartet (1942) is still performed today. On October 16, 1944, Ledec and virtually everyone involved in the Freizeitgestaltung were put on a transport to Auschwitz. During the journey he tossed a hastily-scribbled postcard out of the cattle car with the hope that someone would mail it, and someone did. It was addressed to his sister and expressed concern only for her welfare and that of their mother. He concluded, "Be well. Let the dear God protect you. Love and Kisses". By the time the message reached its destination Ledec was dead, having been sent to the gas chamber soon after his arrival at Auschwitz.

Violinist, Composer. Born in Kostelec nad Orlici, Eastern Bohemia, he graduated from the Prague Conservatory in 1906 and was active as both soloist and an ensemble player. He performed in London several times with the Prague National Theatre Orchestra and garnered attention as a composer of light music. The World War I years saw him serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1926 Ledec was appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic under conductor Vaclav Talich. Europe's deteriorating political situation motivated him to compose the ambitious "Dawn" (1938), a monologue for vocalist and orchestra set to Fran Sramek's "The Eternal Soldier", which offered a chilling premonition of his own end. The following year the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia and he was expelled from the Philharmonic as a Jew. In the autumn of 1941 he was sent to the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp. Ledec immediately formed the camp's first music ensemble, the "Doctor's Quartet", so named because two its players were physicians; they gave clandestine weekly performances of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in an abandoned barracks, an activity that could have gotten them all shot. Instead it became an influential step in the establishment of the camp's Freizeitgestaltung ("Administration of Free Time Activities"), in which the inmates were allowed to develop a vigorous cultural scene despite hunger, disease, and the constant presence of death. The violinist was an eager and much loved participant in this movement, as leader of the Ledec Quartet, in solo recitals and as a member of any classical orchestra that could be cobbled together. He also managed to write music and his charming "Gavotte" for string quartet (1942) is still performed today. On October 16, 1944, Ledec and virtually everyone involved in the Freizeitgestaltung were put on a transport to Auschwitz. During the journey he tossed a hastily-scribbled postcard out of the cattle car with the hope that someone would mail it, and someone did. It was addressed to his sister and expressed concern only for her welfare and that of their mother. He concluded, "Be well. Let the dear God protect you. Love and Kisses". By the time the message reached its destination Ledec was dead, having been sent to the gas chamber soon after his arrival at Auschwitz.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 11 Jul 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 39350789
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39350789/egon-ledec: accessed ), memorial page for Egon Ledec (16 Mar 1889–18 Oct 1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 39350789, ; Maintained by Find a Grave Burial Details Unknown, who reports a Died at Auschwitz concentration camp, Oswiecim, Poland.