Music and Torture

Une pendaison par un appel du soir, tandis que l'orchestre du camp joue « Alte Kameraden », Dessin n° 18 de Hans P. Sorensen publié en 1947Hans Peter Sørensen, The Neuengamme orchestra plays for an execution, drawing from 1947 taken from the booklet Neuengamme Erindringer – 20 Tegninger af Grænseovergendarm Hans P. Sørensen, published in Sønderborg in 1948.


The use of music in the Nazi concentration camp system is brought up in practically all survivor testimonies. Played by small orchestras during the departure for work in the morning or the return to camp at night, as well as during roll call, executions, punishments, or simply played over loudspeakers, music took part in the torture process by exacerbating the physical and mental suffering inflicted on the prisoners.