Footsteps Team member Simon today spent a fascinating couple of hours in the company of author Natlaie Cumming, whose book The Fiddle tells an incredible story of survival.
The sleeve notes for the book state:
A true story, tracing a precious violin across landscapes devastated by war and terror, to safety and restoration in 21st century Britain. Abraham and his family flee the Bolsheviks, from St. Petersburg to Odessa and safety in the UK. Abraham’s skill on the violin earns them food and lodgings, as they struggle through the freezing Russian winter. The violin passes to Rosa, Abraham’s daughter, violinist with the famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Arrested by the Nazis on Kristellnacht 1938 she is sent to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and then to Auschwitz, where her musical talent sees her forced to join the Women’s Orchestra and saves her life. She spends the last 5 months of the war in Belsen, before testifying at the Nuremberg Trials, exposing the horrors of the Nazi death camps. Rosa’s brother Israel, inherits the violin. A celebrated musician, he joins ENSA during the war, entertaining the troops. Post war, he investigates Nazis trying to escape trial. He forms several popular bands, well-known throughout the 60’s & 70’s.Finally, the violin comes to his daughter Natalie, who has written her family’s extraordinary story, lest the world should ever forget global events, against which the journey of this beautiful instrument is told.
This is certainly a book worth reading. Natalie has researched the history of the violin and her family with diligence. It is hoped that at some point the story will be made into either a film or a serialised television programme.
Natalie Cumming and Simon Bell