Under their stage names Johnny & Jones, the Jewish singers Max Kannewasser and Nol van Wesel are esteemed characters in the pre-war Amsterdam nightlife. In September 1943, they are detained in Westerbork camp. In July 1944, they suddenly resurface in Amsterdam, where they record a couple of songs. It is unclear why they do not seize the opportunity to go into hiding. They return to Westerbork and in the spring of 1945 they die in Bergen-Belsen. For composer Theo Loevendie and librettist Carel Alfenaar, the story of Johnny & Jones was the starting point for the opera Johnny & Jones, which was performed during the 2001 Holland Festival. Filmmaker Hans Hylkema followed the realisation of the opera, but also probed the intriguing history of Johnny & Jones.
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