The Power of Music

Alice Herz-Sommer won’t know whether the film of her life, The Lady in Number Six, receives the Oscar for Best Documentary Short this Sunday but hopefully she had more than an inkling of the indelible mark she left on the world. The oldest living Holocaust survivor and renowned concert pianist died yesterday at the age of 110. The inspiring Herz-Sommer performed over 150 concerts during her two years in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp. While her artistry at the piano enabled the Prague native and her son to survive the camp where nearly 35,000 prisoners perished, it was her optimism and self-discipline (she practiced the piano for three hours a day into her 100s) that made her life so remarkable. As she told The Guardian in 2006, “… life is beautiful, extremely beautiful… When you are older you think, you remember, you care and you appreciate. You are thankful for everything. For everything.”

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