Dimensions: 368 pages, 9.59 × 6.47 × 1.34 in
Published: February 6, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1250007410
ISBN - 13: 9781250007414
About the Book
How music provided hope in one of the world's darkest times--the inspirational life story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor who continues to play her piano in London at 107 years old.
Read from the Book
ONE Twins “One happy, one sad…” FRANTA CAME out of his employer’s office with a delivery note in his hand. A consignment of pharmaceutical scales had to be taken to the station that afternoon and put on a train for Vienna. On the way to the stables the servant paused to listen to the music coming from the drawing room of the flat in the courtyard. As she so often did after lunch, the heavily pregnant Sofie Herz was playing the piano. Franta sat on a bench in the courtyard and looked up to the windows above. For nearly thirty years he had been employed by Herz Brothers. How many thousand times had he loaded the carriage since then, how often had he harnessed the horses and taken the consignment over the Moldau to the station? It was a part of his routine on that gray Prague morning in November 1903, like any other. Sofie Herz was a precise interpreter of Bach. The little preludes and two-part inventions were among her favorites. In the last weeks of her confinement, however, she had often played Chopin, his poetic nocturnes and above all his sad waltzes. The melancholy melody reminded Franta of his master’s marriage in 1886. The factory director Friedrich Herz was thirty-four then, almost twice the age of his bride, Sofie. For nights on end Sofie cried herself to sleep. Barred from marrying the man to whom she had given her heart, she dreaded her wedding day. She had fallen in love with a student her own age, who shared her love of music an
From the Publisher
How music provided hope in one of the world''s darkest times—the inspirational life story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor
Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903. A talented pianist from a very early age, she became famous throughout Europe; but, as the Nazis rose to power, her world crumbled. In 1942, her mother was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and vanished. In 1943, Alice, her husband and their six-year-old son were sent there, too. In the midst of horror, music, especially Chopin''s Etudes, was Alice''s salvation. Theresienstadt was a "show camp", a living slice of Nazi propaganda created to convince outsiders that the Jews were being treated humanely. In more than a hundred concerts, Alice gave her fellow prisoners hope in a time of suffering. Written with the cooperation of Alice Herz-Sommer, Melissa Müller and Reinhard Piechocki''s Alice''s Piano is the first time her story has been told. At 107 years old, she continues to play her piano in London and bring hope to many.
About the Author
MELISSA MÜLLER is an author and journalist living in Munich. Her collaboration with Traudl Junge became an international bestseller. She is also the author of Anne Frank: The Biography.
REINHARD PIECHOCKI is the author of a number of works of cultural history and a close friend of Alice Herz-Sommer’s for many years.
ALICE HERZ-SOMMER, at 107 years old, is the oldest living Holocaust survivor. She lives in London.
“Most moving is the story throughout of her loving bond with her son and how she saved him. No politics, intolerance, or self-righteousness, no talk of revenge, always the rigor and joy of music.”--Booklist (Starred Review)
“A miraculous journey of mother and son for whom music provided strength and nourishment.”--Kirkus Reviews