Defiant Requiem



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PBS (Direct)

DEFIANT REQUIEM tells the remarkable story of Rafael SchSchter, a brilliant young and passionate Czech opera-choral conductor who was arrested and sent to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezfn) in 1941. Under the most brutal of circumstances, and determined to sustain dignity, humanity, and hope within his fellow prisoners, he recruited 150 prisoners and taught them Verdi's Requiem by rote in a dank cellar using a smuggled score, after grueling days of forced labor. They performed on 16 occasions for fellow prisoners, with the last, most infamous performance on June 23, 1944, in front of high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were well treated and flourishing. The Nazi legacy of brutality is well established, but the Terezfn legacy is virtually unknown. This documentary highlights how a rare form of courage, hope, and survival sparked an entirely unique method of fighting Nazi oppression, battling the worst of mankind with the best of mankind.

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Director: Doug Shultz
Actor: Bebe Neuwirth
Actor: Kylie Biscayne
Actor: Loni Lynn
Actor: Regina Russell
Actor: Julie Snow

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Defiant Requiem | Bebe Neuwirth