Alice Herz-Sommer passed away this past Sunday at the age of 110. She was the oldest known living survivor of the holocaust. Stop and think about that… all the lives changed during that time in history and she was the oldest living survivor.
What makes her my inspiration? To read her story on MSN brought me to tears. I studied quite a bit about the holocaust. Mostly because I am a subscriber to the thinking that only by knowing history will we make sure never to repeat it. The time, the stories, the lives lost, the friendship forged….. all breathtaking. Each story brings tears to my eyes. Alice’s story was different though. I read several media reports about her life and this one was the most positive (attached below). She inspires me because she saw the good in every part of her life. Her quote “there was music how bad could it be”. I get irritated when my house is 4 degrees colder then I like. I get upset when I really want a cookie and I cannot have one. She went through the holocaust and states “how bad could it be.” Alice also had nice things to say about the Nazi that lived above her. She saw the good in someone who had a core belief that she should not exist. She lost her mom and to the day Alice died had no idea when her mom died or where.
Here is my favorite part of the article and why Mrs. Herz-Sommer was my number one pick:
An accomplished pianist, Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin — Theresienstadt in German — where inmates were allowed to stage concerts in which she frequently starred.
An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were moved on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed. Herz-Sommer and her son, Stephan, were among fewer than 20,000 who were freed when the notorious camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.
Yet she remembered herself as “always laughing” during her time in Terezin, where the joy of making music kept them going.
“These concerts, the people are sitting there, old people, desolated and ill, and they came to the concerts and this music was for them our food. Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,” she once recalled.
“When we can play it cannot be so terrible.”
So to Alice Herz-Sommer I dedicate this post to you so I will always remember your story. I aspire to see the positive through every situation and hold tight to every silver lining in my life. I want to be “always laughing”.
I encourage everyone to read this story without walking away shameful of every complaint you had in your life the past week!!
Thank you Alice, you are my inspiration.