Asaf Auerbach and his family at a concert in honor of his brother Ruben

Asaf Auerbach and his family at a concert in honor of his brother Ruben

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This is a photograph of me and my slightly wider circle of relatives in front of the statue of Franz Kafka by the Spanish Synagogue in Prague. We gathered on New Year's Eve, when one of the memorial concerts in my brother Ruben's honor was held. Ruben's daughter Mirjam said to herself that she'd like to in some fashion honor her father's memory. She was discussing it with someone from the Jewish community in Prague, and he suggested to her that she could organize a series of memorial concerts. Ruben liked classical music. Not that he was some sort of great expert, but he had his favorite composers, Beethoven, Richard Strauss and mainly Wolfie, Mozart. The concerts took place in the Spanish Synagogue and performing in them was Vaclav Hudecek, a leading Czech violinist. This is the text on the invitation: Vaclav Hudecek's Music Holidays A concert from the Memorial Concert Series cycle, taking place on New Year's in the Spanish Synagogue. This series of concerts is dedicated to the memory of Pavel Potocky. Pavel Potocky was a person who lived his life during exceptional times. He was born as Ruben Auerbach on 31st December 1924 in Palestine, where his parents, among the first Czechoslovak Zionists, founded the Beth Alfa kibbutz. In 1930 the family returned to Prague, where Ruben spent his youth. In 1939 Ruben and his younger brother left on the last of three trains with Czech Jewish children for Great Britain. In 1942 his parents were transported to Terezin and afterwards to Auschwitz, where they died. Ruben spent his adolescence in Britain, where at the age of 18 he joined the Czechoslovak army abroad, in which he served until the end of the war. He then returned to Prague, where he was later persecuted by the Communists for the fact that he had been a member of the armies of the Western Allies. In 1968, after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, he was forced into a second emigration. Because of his longing for freedom, Ruben (now Pavel) left with his family for the USA, where he remained until the end of his life. He died on 18th October 2003. Music was a great joy in Pavel Potocky's life, and his fervent wish was for all people to live in freedom. On this day, when Paul would have celebrated his 80th birthday, his family and friends from all around the world dedicate these concerts to his memory, with the hope that his dream of freedom will be realized in the following year as well as in the whole of the future.
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