Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The power of music - dancing under the gallows

How many people remain in good shape, both mentally and physically, at the age of 106? Alice Sommer Herz is among those exceptional few. Alice  will be 107 on 26th of this month. She is a survivor of the Holocaust. She puts her survival, her zest for life, and her logeivity down to the power of music, an optimistic attitude and discipline.

"I tell you something. I had a twin sister - same mother, same father, same upbringing. She was extremely gifted, but a terrible pessimist, but I was the contrary. This is the reason I am so old, even now. I am sure. I am looking for the nice things in life. I know about the bad things, but I look only for the good things."

Hers is a remarkable story told in a documentary made for the BBC. 

Video posted on Elderwoman

Alice Sommer Herz, once a well-known concert pianist from Prague, survived the propaganda Nazi concentration camp Thereisenstadt and still plays piano. Music, she says, is her God. She receives visitors every day and speaks of her interest in other people and their lives.

"She is, I think, the most optimistic person I have ever met. She sits in her armchair in her single-roomed Belsize Park flat beaming at the beauty of life and treasuring the moment."