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Mission statement

About The Defiant Requiem Foundation

The Defiant Requiem Foundation was founded by Maestro Murry Sidlin, distinguished conductor, educator, and artistic innovator in 2008. It is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC.


Mission Statement

By honoring the defiance and bravery of the prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) during World War II, performances by the Defiant Requiem Foundation show the role that music and art play in confronting contemporary challenges of increased Holocaust ignorance, Holocaust denial, and anti-Semitism.

In refusing to forfeit their humanity, the Terezin prisoners taught a universal lesson about the power of music and art to foster hope and inspiration even in the face of monumental suffering, disease, and the constant presence of death. The Foundation’s hallmark concert performance, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín; its sister concert, Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer; its Emmy-nominated documentary film, Defiant Requiem, along with newly created educational materials are designed to frame and enhance Holocaust education, and use the courage and cultural resistance of Rafael Schächter and his fellow prisoners to show why the Holocaust must never be forgotten.


Vision Statement

The Defiant Requiem Foundation strives to promote awareness and understanding of the dangers of anti-Semitism, Holocaust ignorance and denial, by presenting the singular story, and one with universal application, of Rafael Schächter and prisoners in the Terezín Concentration Camp during the Holocaust who used music and art as an act of defiance to maintain their humanity, dignity, hope, and inspiration.  Using original performance art — increasingly on college campuses with student musicians and singers — documentary film, and new educational materials geared for middle and high school students, the Foundation offers a unique approach to addressing contemporary issues of bigotry, human rights violations, mass atrocity and genocide crimes.