Dancing Under The Gallows: The Story of Alice, the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor
By Maria Popova
Dancing Under The Gallows is the moving story of Alice Herz-Sommer who, at 106, is the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor.
Alice, an accomplished pianist and an extraordinarily optimistic spirit, has been taking refuge in her music for the past seven decades.
I love people. I love everyone. I love people — I love to speak with them, I’m interested in the life of other people.” ~ Alice Herz-Sommer
In 1942, Alice was a prominent concert pianist living in Prague. Just as she turned 39, she was deported to a Nazi a special concentration camp designed as a purgatory for artists, where tortured prisoners were permitted — if not forced — to paint, perform and make music as part of the Nazi’s effort to deceive the rest of the world by showing how “well” Jewish people were being treated.
When Alice plays the masters of classical music, she brings to the piano a style the world has long forgotten, emanating a deep nostalgia for a culture long gone.
Beethoven. He is a…miracle! His music is not only melody. What is inside… what is inside, how it’s filled. It’s full, it’s intensive.” ~ Alice Herz-Sommer
Published November 5, 2010