By Hassan Isilow
Turkish pianist Renan Koen performed at several venues in South Africa to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and teach local youths about what happened during the tragic period through her music.
Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Elif Comoglu Ulgen told Anadolu Agency Monday that during one of Koen’s performances, the pianist met with more than 60 students in Johannesburg aged between 13-16.
“She performed a wonderful Holocaust program for them with the help of music,” Ulgen said, adding the pianist and music therapist also performed Saturday evening at the residence of the Turkish ambassador in Pretoria for members of the diplomatic community.
The Israeli ambassador to South Africa was among those who attended.
Ulgen said Koen also spent time at the Holocaust museum and center in Johannesburg.
‘‘We had the opportunity to pay our respects to all those who lost their lives in the most darkest period,” Ulgen said.
During her performance, Koen played pieces composed by some Jewish artists who lost their lives while at concentration camps, including the infamous Auschwitz — the largest Nazi concentration and death camp.
Koen is an international pianist known for her efforts to publish the life stories and works of composers who continued to create notwithstanding the prohibitions imposed on concentration camps during the Second World War.
She is expected to perform later Monday at the United Nations in New York in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day held on Jan. 27 to commemorate the genocide that resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and 11 million others perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.