Alice Herz-Sommer, the Renowned Czech pianist and the Oldest Known Survivor of the Holocaust and the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Celebrates Her 108th Birthday
Alice Herz-Sommer, the renowned Czech pianist and the oldest known survivor of the Holocaust and the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp, celebrates her 108th birthday this weekend. To honour her extra-ordinary life, Web of Stories is proud to present a wonderful video archive of Alice Herz-Sommer's first-hand experiences at Theresienstadt and how music helped her survive. The video stories are available free of charge for everyone to view at http://webofstories.com.
Four years ago, at the age of 104, Alice Herz-Sommer published a book called A Garden of Eden in Hell, where she recalls her time in Theresienstadt and how she was forced to play over a hundred concerts inside the concentration camp. Despite the terrible atrocities she and her family not only witnessed but also endured, she still maintains that the Nazis were "only human."
In one of her video stories, Alice Herz-Sommer recollects a Nazi who was living in the apartment above her flat. His name was Hermann. Here she recalls the evening before she and her family were sent to Theresienstadt when the man came to visit her with his wife bearing biscuits, and said, "Mrs Sommer, I see you are [going] away. I don’t know what to tell you. In any case, I hope you will come back. What I know...what I want to tell you is that...I admire your playing...hours and hours, the patience and the beauty of the music...I thank you. In any case, I thank you."
+44 (0)20 7323 0323