During the concert, Schelvis describes, in fragments, the 72-hour journey to the extermination camp Sobibor. He paints a realistic picture of what the wagon looked like from the inside, who his fellow sufferers were and what emotions went through him during the terrible journey.
His story alternates with music performed by the National Symphonic Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jan Vermaning. The whole performance is supported by unique historical images from the archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
Classical music has always been of vital importance to Schelvis. During the war he, together with friend Leo de Vries, whistled music fragments that they each had to guess."That kept us going, because music was a rarity that you cherished"
Together, Schelvis and Vermaning chose the music fragments that resonated with his testimony, including the vocal extract: "Urlicht" from Mahler's Second Symphony and two arias by Bach. Schelvis' love for vocal music was sparked at a young age. As a child he often accompanied his father to rehearsals of the "Voice of the People" choir.
When Schelvis was about fifteen years old, he heard the St Matthew Passion for the first time. It made such an impression on him that afterwards he calligraphed the entire text in a booklet.
At the back of this booklet, Schelvis noted the dates when he attended the St Matthew Passion live. Many years are not missing, practically only those of the war.