The violin from Lyon, France, made in Germany around 1900.

In July 1942 thousands of Jews were arrested in Paris and sent by cattle trains to concentration camps in the East, most of them to Auschwitz.  On one of the packed trains was a man holding a violin.  When the train stopped somewhere along the sad roads of France, the man heard voices speaking French, a few men were working on the railways fixing them and walking at leisure. The man in the train cried out:

"In the place where I now go – I don't need a violin.  Here, take my violin so it may live!"

The man threw his violin out the narrow window.  It landed on the rails and was picked up by one of the French workers.  For many years the violin had no life.  No one played it.  No one had any use for it.  Years later the worker passed away and his children found the abandoned violin in the attic.  They soon looked to sell it to a local maker in the South of France and told him the story they heard from their father.  The French violin maker heard about Violins of Hope and gave it to us, so the violin will live.