The Oracle

It is too late for this to cause a change

Janet Horvath’s touching story is out of place in the violent lives of young adults.

Janet Horvath plays the cello during key moments of the presentation.

Janet Horvath plays the cello during key moments of the presentation.

Kat McCullum

Kat McCullum

Janet Horvath plays the cello during key moments of the presentation.

Kat McCullum, Reporter

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“My parents were professional musicians and Holocaust survivors. Our family was haunted by an eerie hush surrounding their experiences. Music was our lifeline,” Janet Horvath said to the brave crowd in Sundin Music Hall. What followed was Horvath’s self composed multimedia piece consisting of digital images, cello and piano performance, and spoken word entitled “It’s Not Too Late to Stop the Hate!”

Horvath, a Hamline alumna and a former associate principal cello of the Minnesota Orchestra, spent most of her life aware of her parents’ status as survivors of the Holocaust but never knew their testimonies of the events they survived. Both of her parents refused to share what had happened to them, choosing instead to conceal the past.

“In order to start life anew, my parents buried the memories and who and what they were before, silencing the past in order to live,” Horvath said.

In time, Horvath’s shared love of music with her father brought him to share his testimony of his life during the Holocaust. Her mother’s would come through Horvath’s sly cousin and presented to Horvath after her mother’s death by means of the audio recording her cousin took of the conversation.

With the long-hidden secrets finally revealed, Horvath took to heart the responsibilities she had to her heritage and to her parents’ to use all they had gifted her to make a change in their name.

What came out of this journey was Horvath’s “It’s Not Too Late to Stop the Hate,” a piece that aims to take viewers and listeners on a journey of her parents’ life during the Holocaust while also weaving in modern genocide and acts of violence. Horvath, more than simply conveying her parents’ struggle, wishes to impose on viewers the idea that hate is still running rampant on this earth and it is our job to see that it ends.

Horvath’s presentation, at its core, attempts to elicit an emotional response from viewers, particularly her target young adult audience. Her presentation, however, fails to make an impact.

While genocide, hatred and violence run amok in the lives of the young adults of today, the sheer mass amount of violence in this world has left many desensitized to these atrocities. The younger generation is aware of the hatred and violence that exists in their lives; the problem is that this violence and hatred routinely infiltrates their lives so that the news coverage of it on the nightly news has become just that, a reporting on the nightly news.

Those who wish to cause change are already rallying and fighting for what they believe, and the ones who are not would most likely not be moved to action by Horvath’s presentation and story. Although Horvath’s message is touching and has its place in prompting change, that place is better served in the classrooms of elementary schools whose students will be inspired by stock photos of other children, not in the world where young adults are already fighting to be heard and to feel shock at news of the next tragedy to pop-up on their numerous newsfeeds.


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It is too late for this to cause a change