Violins of Hope is a nonprofit dedicated to restoring and playing instruments which survived the Holocaust. Often the prized possession of Jewish musicians, these instruments survived the destruction of Jewish European villages, the cruelty of the concentration camps, and the perilous journeys of refugees. Restored by father and son Amnon (Z”L) and Avshalom Weinstein, these violins have found new life in concert halls from Charlotte to Berlin, a testament to the endurance and hope of the human spirit.

The Soldiers’ Violin

The Alabama Holocaust Education Center is the proud caretaker of the Soldiers’ Violin.

Painstakingly restored by the late Amnon Weinstein, the Soldiers’ Violin is dedicated to the more than 500,000 Jewish soldiers who served the USSR during WWII.

Originating the Czech Republic, the violin’s specific story is unknown. It is one of the many violins donated to museums and luthiers following the Holocaust—an unwelcome token of suffering to many Jewish artists.⁠

Donated in perpetuity to the AHEC in 2020, the Alabama Holocaust Education Center is the only Holocaust center in the U.S. to have a violin from the Violins of Hope collection.

About the Violin

The Soldiers’ Violin, like many others from pre-War Europe, has an inlaid Star of David on its back. For Jewish klezmorim (klezmer players) the more ‘Jewish’ an instrument seemed, the more likely its player was to be chosen to perform at Jewish weddings and celebrations. For this reason, many musicians carefully added beautiful Stars of David to the backs of their violins.

The violin—including the ribs and scroll—are made from medium-grain maple wood.

Playing the Violin

Like all violins, the Soldiers’ Violin must be played to stay in fine condition. We’ve been lucky to have artists—young and old—travel to the Center to make it sing again.

To help keep this legacy alive and play the violin yourself, contact us at