Julius Stwertka (Concertmaster, Violin I)
Julius Stwertka was 66 years old when Nazi Germany carried out its infamous Anschluss with Austria in March 1938. A distinguished musician, recruited by Gustav Mahler, he was violinst and then Konzertmeister with the Philharmonic, and is pictured in a black and white photo from 1935 sitting in the pit next to Wilhelm Furtwängler. The Anschluss unleashed 250 new anti-Semitic laws and a wave of anti-Jewish violence. Stwertka and his wife Rosa were deported to the Jewish ghetto in Theresienstadt. He survived for just a few weeks, dying in December 1942. His wife was sent to Auschwitz in 1944. Her date of death is unknown.
Armin Tyroler Armin Tyroler (Oboe II)
Armin Tyroler was one of the Philharmonic's most celebrated musicians. A teacher, professor of music, and a campaigner for better conditions for his less fortunate colleagues, Tyroler was honoured by the city of Vienna in 1933. In his acceptance speech he argued that musicians could only be artists if they were freed from hardship. He called Vienna his "adored city" and said he wanted it to be a "city of songs, a city of happiness". In 1940 Tyroler and his second wife Rudolfine were forced to move home, then in 1942 sent - together with the Stwertkas - to Theresienstadt. In the ghetto Tyroler founded a Jewish cultural organisation and took part in a concert. On October 28, 1944, he and his wife were deported to Auschwitz. He was gassed two days later. His wife's date of death is unknown.