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"Freizeitgestaltung" in a concentration camp - "Tracks to Terezín”
    Herbert Thomas Mandl talks about the "Freizeitgestaltung" in Terezín and the end of the rehearsals of the opera “The Emperor of Atlantis Or The Disobey of Death” and why the emperor in this opera of Viktor Ullmann cannot be seen as Hitler (taken from an interview with Mandl published as a DVD by ARBOS-Company for Music and Theatre). Herbert Thomas Mandl is a real witness of the 20th century. He was born in 1926 at Bratislava, his father served for the artillery of the army of the Austrian-Hungarian Army at the Albanian front. At his childhood Mandl is in Ostrava and Brno and he gets education in playing the violin. After the occupation of the Nazis he and the family must go to the ghetto of Prague and will be later deported to the concentration camp of Terezín, which is used by the Nazis for propaganda. There he met the composer Viktor Ullmann, Ullmann is now his teacher and conductor. Mandl is member of different orchestras in Terezín as in the string orchestra of Karel Ančerl and also in the missed musical work “Villon” composed and conducted by Viktor Ullmann at Terezín. Deportation to Auschwitz. Death march together with his father to the concentration camp Dachau-Kaufering IV. His father dies in Dachau. Herbert Thomas Mandl survives, he will be not executed at the concentration camp, because a member of the SS refuses to shoot. He sees the liberation of the camp by the US-Army. After the war Mandl works as a professor for violin at the academy in Ostrava. During the Cold War he comes in conflict with the regime. He flees to Egypt and comes to Germany. Later his wife comes with the help of Heinrich Böll through the Iron Curtain as a refugee to Germany. For the world premiere of the play “The Inquiry” of Peter Weiss about the trial of Auschwitz in Frankfurt Herbert Thomas Mandl works as a witness on the direction the play. The communistic government of the Czechoslovakia deprives his doctor in philosophy; he gets it back in the nineties of the 20th century. Herbert Thomas Mandl dies in February 2007 at Meerbusch.