They Played for Their Lives is about the musicians of Auschwitz.
Through intimate interviews and live performances, They Played for Their Lives artfully portrays how music saved the lives of young musicians during the Holocaust. Playing music in Jewish ghettos and concentration camps not only fostered spiritual strength within themselves and others, but often proved a bargaining tool that spared their lives. In this documentary by Nurit Jugend and co-producer Aaron I. Butler with illustrations by Ari Binus, follow the personal narratives of eight survivors—each with a unique story that illustrates the power of music to sustain the human soul.
No holocaust story should be presented as in any way uplifting. People do what they can to survive and this was one of the very narrow avenues that were available. Read Primo Levi for a more authentic account of what went on.