Violins Of Hope, A Journey Of Heroism, Healing, & Humanity

Veterans Gallery Exhibit
January 16–March 13, 2020
Tuesdays 1–5pm

Violins Of Hope features surviving instruments from the World War Two extermination camp orchestras. Some instruments are in use in concerts around the Bay Area or in the Wisley Center, 4th Floor, Veterans Building. PBS documentry: Violins of Hope Instruments From The Holocaust.

An exhibition featuring the Violins of Hope is open (and free) to the public. The violins share the stories of Jewish resistance fighters and tales of loss and reunification following the war.

The exhibition showcase a selection of approximately 20 violins from the collection of over 70 that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Amnon Weinstein began collecting and restoring the violins more than 20 years ago, and the collection is dedicated to the 400 family members he lost in World War II. Since then, the instruments have been played by prominent musicians in venues worldwide, giving voice not only to the owners of the violins, but also to the millions of Jewish people who perished.

Daniel Hawkins, RR, 2009 is included in the exhibit A Journey of Healing, Hope and Humanity

RR is the embodiment of paradoxical emotions, narratives, and ways of perceiving the world — and this contradiction opens a space where we can reflect on how we got here, where we’re headed, and what illusions and promises we may be riding at this very moment. 

In RR, 2009 an 8-foot segment of railroad track – including gravel, railroad ties, and steel rails – is set between two vertical panes of two-way mirrored plexiglass.

Los Angeles based artist Daniel Hawkins frequently combines the deliberate undertaking of Sisyphean tasks with explorations of the aesthetics of plausible deniability.


The Violins of Hope exhibition offers a unique educational opportunity through the Violins of Hope App which provides supplemental material and allows the visitor to engage in an intimate musical experience. Expanding on educational materials developed by Facing History & Ourselves whose mission is to help students learn about hatred and bigotry so they can stop them from happening in the future, the exhibition offers tours and programs for all grades, faith-based organizations, congregations and social justice agencies.

For information regarding school visits and docent tours for your group, contact: Lisa Coscino


  • Curator: Lisa Coscino
  • Exhibition Development and Research Assistance: Cindy Morton
  • Exhibition Development and Design: Sound, Interactive and App: Sara Roberts

The Curatorial Team would like to thank the following for their invaluable research assistance and guidance: The Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools; JFCS Holocaust Center of San Francisco; UCSF School of Museum Management and James Grymes and the Weinstein Family.

Additional research assistance has been provided by: Peninsula JCC, California History Center, Facing History and Ourselves and Violins of Hope Nashville.

Many thanks to our APP creator, Jim Asnis and to our exhibit designer, Julie Ho Sung

Special thanks to the American Legion War Memorial Commission for hosting the Violins of Hope Exhibit in the Veterans Gallery in the SF Veterans Building, and to Paul Cox and Janice Tong.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *