Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World's Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor
"A treasure trove of insight and reflection. Herz-Sommer's life is a tribute to the purity of artistic endeavor under the most devastating circumstances, and her refusal to be bitterly defined or essentially reshaped by tragedy is a testament to moral and spiritual courage."--"Booklist
"A survivor of Theresienstadt and a world-class Czech pianist shares her amazing story of survival and triumph. Now living in London since she relocated from Jerusalem to be closer to her only son (now deceased), Herz-Sommer is shortly turning 108, still playing the piano, disciplined and abstemious in her daily habits and fairly active, as Stoessinger records over interviews with her between 2004 and 2011. These are short segments that amplify important aspects of her life, such as her acquaintanceship as a young girl in Prague with Franz Kafka and his circle, her happy though too-brief marriage and successful early career as a concert pianist and teacher, the birth of her son in 1937 just as the Nazis were exerting their terror over the Jewish community in Prague and their abrupt deportation to Theresienstadt in 1943. ...[W]hat Stoessinger's work reveals startlingly and firsthand are details of life in the concentration camp, especially how the musicians coped with the horrible conditions and even formed a vibrant community. ... 'Every concert played there, ' Stoessinger writes, 'became a moral victory against the enemy.' ... Rounding out this work are memories from Herz-Sommer's students and friends, reflections on favorite authors such as Spinoza, Rilke and Zweig and even recipes."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"As if her 108 years of experience alone were not enough to coax you, there is the overarching fact that draws people to Herz-Sommer's story: She survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp and is believed to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor."--"The Washington Post"
"I have rarely read a Holocaust survivor's memoir as enriching and meaningful. Get Caroline