Death of an Auschwitz musician, 103

Death of an Auschwitz musician, 103


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2019

Rudolf Danel, one of the oldest known Auschwitz survivors, has died in Chicago, aged 103.

He played trumpet in the prisoners’ orchestra, but did not follow a musical career after the war.



  • Boruch dayan emess

  • Jaime Herrera says:

    Was this Alma Rose’s orchestra he played in?

    • Andy says:

      No – Alma Rose ran the orchestra in the women’s side of the camp.

    • william osborne says:

      Alma led a women’s orchestra, so probably not unless they needed a sub or something…

    • Malcolm Kottler says:

      Alma Rosé’s orchestra was women-only and was at Birkenau. There was a separate men-only orchestra at Auschwitz.

      There are a number of books you can consult about Alma Rosé’s orchestra. Two of the best are: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Inherit the Truth, a Memoir of Survival and the Holocaust; and Richard Newman and Karent Kirtley: Alma Rosé, Vienna to Auschwitz,

      One book about the men’s orchestra in Auschwitz is Szymon Laks, Music of Another World (originally published in French in 1948).

      There is much more information about the women’s orchestra.

  • Kevin says:

    Can’t get this article in Europe – any hope of a cut-&-paste?

  • fflambeau says:

    Fascinating story and a great link. He lived through extreme times and survived. May he rest in peace.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’ve never seen a German style rotary valve trumpet played at such an extreme angle before. Usually the main body is flat – perpendicular to one’s body. That makes for a more natural hand position on the valve buttons.