Defiant Requiem tells the story of Rafael Schachter, a brilliant young and passionate Czech opera-choral conductor who was sent to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezin) in 1941. Determined to sustain dignity, humanity, and hope within his fellow prisoners, he taught 150 prisoners Verdi’s Requiem using a smuggled score. They performed on 16 occasions with the last, most infamous performance on June 23, 1944, in front of high-ranking SS officers and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were well treated and flourishing. For over ten years, conductor Murry Sidlin has dreamed of bringing the Requiem back to Terezin. Now, through soaring concert footage, powerful survivor recollections, cinematic dramatizations and evocative animation, Defiant Requiem brings the incredible story of this artistic uprising to life.
Explore educational resources designed to support educators using the film in their classroom.
Thank you to our partner Journeys in Film for supporting the use of Defiant Requiem in the classroom.