Alice Herz Sommer: The Lady in Number Six


TRAILER FOR THE LADY IN NUMBER 6



HERE IS THE ORIGINAL TRAILER
(THE DOCUMENTARY WAS THEN CALLED
ALICE: DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS)



The indominitable Alice Herz-Sommer


I was transfixed while watching the trailer for The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. It’s a film about the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world, Alice Herz-Sommer, who just passed away on February 23, 2014, at the age of 110, just one week before the documentary about her life won an Oscar.


You can read Alice’s inspirational story below. Alice’s buoyant, indestructible spirit is a treasure. Her buoyant, indestructible spirit was a treasure. She radiated hope, joy and inspiration. What a great gift to the world!



TheLadyInNumber6Poster_18x24.indd







Click here
to order the DVD of the entire documentary for just $9.99!











Here is more about Alice, courtesy of producer Nick Reed:

Alice and her son, Raffi

Today she’s both the last person alive on the planet who can claim to have been both a close friend of Franz Kafka and to have regularly sat on the knee of her Mother’s friend; Gustav Mahler, as a little girl. But what really makes Alice stand out from the pack is her extraordinary optimism and forbearance – her absolute conviction that despite all the terrible things that she witnessed and endured – she still can not and will not bear any trace of enmity or hatred for those who did everything in their power to terminate her existence and that of her family and her People.

Alice Herz-Sommer is 106 years old. As well as being the second oldest person living in London, England – she is more significantly the world’s oldest survivor of Hitler’s holocaust.

As might be expected Alice is rather unique. Living entirely alone in a tiny council flat in central London she spends hours each day at her piano, practicing beloved Bach and Beethoven, for she was once a renowned and celebrated concert pianist performing to enthusiastic audiences throughout central Europe. But of course, all of that was before… before the ‘lights went out all over Europe’ and the continent was plunged into years of misery and bitter conflict.

During those years Alice suffered experiences that no human being should have to endure. She saw both her mother and her husband put aboard the transports to Auschwitz and yet today she speaks of those times with an absence of malice and quiet grace that wins the hearts of all who know her. Along with her six-year-old son, Raphael, Alice was imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp where her most enduring memories are of her helplessness and inability to feed her child or to answer his many questions about why they and so many others were being subjected to the indescribable nightmare of the Holocaust.

Yet Alice found a way to survive the terror of the camps – a means to look beyond the horrors of day-to-day life in order to recall and cherish what was joyful, pure and noble about her fellow man. Alice survived through music… Still today, she speaks with great pride and passion of playing more than 100 concerts inside the concentration camp and she likens that experience, both for the performers and their imprisoned audience as being close to the divine. Alice is unequivocal in stating that music preserved her sanity and her life – while bringing hope into the lives of countless others. To this day Alice never tires of saying; “Music saved my life and Music saves me still.”

When she plays Schubert and Beethoven, it’s in a style that the world has long since forgotten. It’s the style of her mentor and teacher; the majestic Artur Schnabel: a style redolent of a happier and more confident time in music-making and one which today many may find heartbreakingly nostalgic.

Yet despite all that has befallen her, Alice insists that she has never, ever hated the Nazis, and she never will. Some see in her tolerance and compassion a secular saint who has been blessed with the gift of forgiveness, but Alice is far more pragmatic – she has seen enough in her life to know all too well that hatred eats the soul of the hater, not the hated. Alice laughs easily and still becomes flirtatious in the presence of young men. With her remarkable memory she’s able to keep her busy schedule in her head without a diary or the assistance of a secretary. She makes her own appointments, does her own cooking and shopping, takes two long daily walks and frequently talks with journalists, students, musicians and just about anyone else who understands and loves music.

And it’s from music that Alice derives her supreme optimism. As she’s so fond of saying; “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.”

To this day Alice Herz-Sommer still plays chamber music in the evenings with her few remaining friends. As she approaches her 107th birthday on November of 2010 she said, “I have had such a beautiful life. And 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”.





Click here to view all my posts about concentration camp survivors.






ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.

Click here to order your copy of Through God’s Eyes from GodsEyesAmazon.com.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT

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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.



Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER




Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.



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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
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• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?


Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.



SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.





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6 Responses to “Alice Herz Sommer: The Lady in Number Six”

  1. David Winkelman Says:

    Phil,

    Thank you so much for posting “Under the Gallows” on your blog. I thought we’d lost it as the original on YouTube was removed in favor of a much shorter 2:35 minute video that is nowhere near as impactful (as you probably know.)

    What a piece!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, David!

  3. nick reed Says:

    Phil, i am one of the producers of ALICE DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS and I would like to respectfully ask that you take down the video. Alice and her family received so much attention with people literally turning up at her apartment that it became very uncomfortable for them. Non of us including the family expected such a wonderful response and at 106 she is frail and we dont want to cause her stress. I am happy to give you some great stuff when we finish the film – but at the moment we are doing everything we can to calm things down a bit. i hope you understand. thanks nick reed

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Certainly, Nick. I am grateful that you are creating this tribute to Alice and sharing her with the world. I don’t want to cause her any stress. I assume that it’s okay to replace the 12-minute trailer with the 2-minute video now on YouTube?

    When will you be finishing the film? I would love to feature it on my blog and will appreciate whatever you can send me. I would like to help promote it.

  5. debbie Says:

    BTW Phil – I like your blog.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks so much, Debbie!

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