Musical instruments once carried European Jews from outsider status into mainstream European culture. Later they were inadvertent partners in the expulsion. In The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson, author Frances Brent explores the fate of Lev Aronson and the instruments that passed through his hands. He did this to understand what was lost and what was saved. Aronson was born in Germany, raised in Russia and Latvia, and educated in Berlin. He traveled the music world of Europe with great expectations and encountered its cultural collapse first hand. At every juncture, Aronson's deep connection to the cello helped him preserve his identity. In the camps, "imprisoned but stragely free," he used his memory of concertos to maintain a sense of time and dignity. Afterwards, he fell in love with a beautiful Polish dancer and together they came to the United States where Aronson became principal cellist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and an outstanding teacher whose influence is still felt in the work of his many students around the world. Aronson died in 1988.