A Personal Message from David Groen

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for taking time from your day to visit this website. 

I have put this project together in order to tell the story of my Uncle, and my mother’s brother, Bram Rodrigues to as many people as possible.

The story of Bram’s Violin is remarkable on many levels, and over the course of the coming months and years I intend to share this story with people of all ages and from all walks of life.  We live in a world where we urgently need to learn the lessons from the past while building hope for a better future. If we fail to teach the story of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, we leave the door open for future tyrants and despots to establish themselves as forces of evil.  But even beyond that, we owe it to those who were murdered and to the survivors that suffered the loss of their loved ones and the trauma of Nazi occupation.  As the years advance further from 1945, the number of survivors has dwindled down to such small levels, that if those of us who are from the next generation stay silent, the story will cease to be told on any significant scale.  It is therefore that I make it my life’s mission to continue to be a voice for those who can no longer speak, and to honor the memory of those killed in the Holocaust.

There are many people who know the history that are telling the story to many people that know the history.  While I commend their efforts as being meaningful and important, I want to focus on telling the story to those who do not know the story.  People of different religions with less of a personal connection.  High school and college students.  Organizations that search for important messages but are not versed in the history.  And even Jewish schools where generations later the knowledge of what happened is dwindling down. These are all examples of groups that need to hear this story.  And to those Jews or non-Jews that understand on whatever level possible the devastation that took place, I intend for you to gain from the inspirational and emotional story of my Uncle’s violin and the special story revolving around its return to his family.

The violin is a beautiful instrument that plays beautiful music, but what makes the presentations so compelling is something even greater than music, it is the symbol it represents. The connection between past and present and how the perception of the gap in time between the time of the Holocaust and today needs to be narrowed.

On a more personal note, as someone who loved his parents dearly, I know of no greater way to honor their memory, and I know with all my heart and soul that nothing I could ever do in my life would bring my mother greater joy than being able to give a legacy to her younger brother Bram, killed 3 weeks shy of his 19th birthday.  I am blessed and very grateful to have this opportunity to share it with all of you.

All the best,