Dutch performer Niki Jacobs (Nikitov) planned to tour the United States this year for a special commemorative performance in honor of 75 years of freedom. Due to the pandemic traveling and touring has been postponed to 2021. However, a unique concert of The Mauthausen Trilogy can be attended virtually thanks to the JxJ festival of the DC JCC.

The Trilogy, also known as “The Ballad of Mauthausen” is a cycle of four arias with lyrics based on poems written by Greek poet Iakovos Kambanellis, a Mauthausen concentration camp survivor, and music written by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.

The Trilogy gives voice to victims of the Holocaust, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It serves as a reminder to cherish freedom and combat intolerance.

Niki Jacobs (vocals/guitar) and her band (Ro Krauss, viola/vocals; Peter van Os, accordion; Ruud Breuls, trumpet; and Emile Visser, cello) transform these songs, rearranging the original into a vivid present-day composition.

By using a small acoustic ensemble, and Yiddish lyrics throughout, Jacobs’ interpretation layers an added dimension of heartbreaking beauty to the music—one that underscores the depth of the Trilogy’s story.

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