(Alice and her son before the concentration camps – Alice in 2014)
Alice Herz-Sommer, also known as Alice Sommer, (26 November 1903 – 23 February 2014) was a pianist, music teacher, and supercentenarian from Bohemia, and a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where she was sent by the Nazis because of her Jewish origins. She moved to Israel after the war and then lived in Belsize Park in London from 1986 until her death, and at the age of 110 was the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor.
A film about Herz-Sommer’s life, The Lady in Number 6, won the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary in 2014.
“What is absolutely AMAZING about this woman, is that after all she witnessed and experienced during the tragedy of the Holocaust, Alice never allowed it to destroy her joy for life, let alone become bitter. Alice still exuded a soul reaching smile and was able to see the joy and beauty in life and people. Since Alice was an accomplished pianist, she was not sent to the gas chambers. Along with her son, she performed in over 100 concerts while in Theresienstadt. Her husband died at Dachau in 1944.”
Alice declared a firm belief in the power of music: “Music saved my life and music saves me still… I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion.”
“Hatred breeds only hatred.”
“Only when we are so old, only are we aware of the beauty of life.”
“I think I am in my last days, but it doesn’t really matter because I have had such a beautiful life. I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times – including my husband, my mother and my beloved son. Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate. Life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love.”
Alice is a true hero and inspiration who demonstrates the key principle – The Law of Focused Attention – what you consistently focus your attention upon becomes the fabric of your future circumstances. Alice believes life is a miracle, a gift and to be optimistic, to love music. In the face of Adolph Hitler, Alice played her music and inspired herself and others every day. She created her own reality. She found a way to peace and survived horrible conditions in the Holocaust to live an amazing life to age 110. Her energy, enthusiasm and twinkle melts your heart…enjoy the video below.
The MEGA Coach