By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – During the Holocaust, many victims in the Nazi death camps spent some of their time composing music. There are thousands of pieces of music, and one maestro is bringing that art to life.

Francesco Lotoro collects and plays music composed in those concentration camps. He has 8,000 pieces of recovered work.

The Italian composer recently traveled to Miami to meet with Saul Dreier, a Holocaust survivor and musician.

Dreier was allowed to play while imprisoned.

For Lotoro, meeting Dreier was like hearing and touching living history.

“We cannot recover and save the life of those who lost life from the camps. We can recover another life. Music is the life of the brain. It is about it is life too,” Lotoro said.

Many of the death camp musicians were accomplished and their work superb.

Lotoro said their work must be played. When it is, it is the freedom for those imprisoned musicians.

Dreier agrees the classical compositions, the marches and the works for piano and violin need to be heard and preserved for the future.

“Francesco is one of the most important people to me, today, [because of] what he does,” Dreier said. “Because we won’t be here, we want his research, his music, which should stay for rest of everybody’s life.”

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