KASTELEWICZ music in progress also conducts research in musicological topics, funded by scholarships from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and the AKB Stiftung Einbeck.


Music in Soviet Special Camps

From late 1945 to 1950, the Soviet Union governed around 100,000 people in Special Camps, numbered 1-10. The most notable feature of these special camps was the inmates’ total isolation from the outside world: the so-called ‘Silence Camps’. Any contact outside the camps, including to relatives, or any activities deemed too intellectual (except Chess) were strictly forbidden. This forced inactivity caused a huge amount of mental strain, further aggravating the already poor physical condition of the inmates, due to straining labour, hunger, and disease. The average death toll in each camp was 30% of inmates. However, despite the prohibition, there were many musical or cultural activities for the prisoners, that were either secret, or turned a blind eye to. These included singing, rudimental music making with makeshift instruments, poetry, lectures, hand-crafting, etc. In this contradiction to prohibition, the official “Kultura”, in which concerts, theatrical performances and other events in which the imprisoned artists took part in, became accessible to the staff, and later on to other prisoners.

Anna Barbara Kastelewicz reveals here the source material. Only a few of the scores have survived, with the ones that have, rarely being complete. These works are restored, processed, and analised. Then, they are rescored and made accessible to the public through concerts.




Music and the Nation III


(19th-21st Centuries), International Conference, Montreal, 18-20 October 2018

Kastelewicz, Anna Barbara – Mozarteum University Salzburg

« Conquerors and Conquered : Music and Kultura in the Soviet Special Camps in Germany, 1945-1950 »

Will be presented 19.Oktober 2018

Call for papers







An article from the magazine “der stacheldraht” (“the barbed wire”) Nr. 6 / 2015 about the memeriam for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the NKVD camp Nr. 9. Anna Barbara Kastelewicz gave a presantation about her work that day.

Gemeinsames Erinnern – Der Stacheldraht Nr.6/2015 von Rita Lüdtke only in german language.