Italian researchers revive music from WWII concentration camps

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Scribbled on diaries, loose pages or even toilet paper, they are the notes left behind by Jews swept away in the Holocaust, prisoners of war and interned civilians who struggled to survive in the concentration camps of World War II.

Italian researchers hope thousands of nearly forgotten works will find new life as they assemble a library of music composed or played in those dark places between 1933 and 1945.

The library, set to open in September at Rome's Third University, will offer scholars a repertoire of 4,000 papers and 13,000 microfiches including music sheets, letters, drawings and photos.

In a largely single-handed effort, Italian musician Francesco Lotoro has been collecting originals, copies and recordings of everything from operas written in the depth of the Nazi death machine to jazz pieces born in Japanese POW camps in Asian jungles.

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