Alice Herz-Sommer

Woman Who Found Peace in Chopin Amid Holocaust, Dies at 110.


Can we overcome the pain and darkness and transform it into kindness and strength?

Can we face evil and preserve humanity and faith?

Can we endure the worst unfair punishments and maintain love in your heart?

Can we still find a reason to dream when we are clawed by a mad dog or chained with to a wrecking ball?

Apparently, yes we can.

When most run away to escape the Nazis, Alice Herz-Sommer stayed to nurse her mother, she kept her son alive during the Holocaust.

The only weapon she had was the music. The only friend, Chopin.

Even in concentration camps – she played her music.

From her own words she said, “We had to play because the Red Cross came three times a year. The Germans wanted to show its representatives that the situation of the Jews in Theresienstadt was good. Whenever I knew that I had a concert, I was happy. Music is magic. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. They lived for the music. It was like food to them. If they hadn’t come [to hear us], they would have died long before. As we would have.

Music is magic, she said.

It kept so many alive – gave them something to live for.

But was someone who had seen so much pain and sorrow, scorned? Quite the opposite.

“I look at the good. When you are relaxed, your body is always relaxed. When you are pessimistic, your body behaves in an unnatural way. It is up to us whether we look at the good or the bad. When you are nice to others, they are nice to you. When you give, you receive.”

The most beautiful soul.

She lived for 110 years but still, she left us too soon.

The world will miss you, Alice.

Rest in Peace.