The greatest thing about history is the fact that it lives on forever. This past Sunday, the oldest known Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, died at the age of 110 years. Although Ms. Sommer’s lifetime has ended, she and her family will always be in our prayers, and the history of the Holocaust will always live on.
The fact that Ms. Sommer was the oldest known Holocaust survivor intrigued me to an article regarding her loss. But the main reason why I want to share with you readers her story is because she was a joyful person, always cheerful with a love for music, even when in the numerous concentration camps.
It is read that she was a part of a concentration camp where they would hold concerts. Ms. Sommer would perform at these concerts and bring a sense of hope to the inmates.
“These concerts, the people are sitting there, old people, desolated and ill, and they came to the concerts and this music was for them our food. Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,” -Alice Herz-Sommer
Her fond for music brought a different atmosphere to the concentration camps, where so many deaths and horrors occurred. In the midst of war, Sommer and her music created a family environment. Her joy and positive attitude united the people.
2013 documentary regarding Sommer’s life and fond for music
It’s amazing how the language of music gave the people a greater purpose of life. It reminded them of home, thus giving them the hope that one day… one special day… they would be freed from all the suffering and cruelty surrounding them.
Read more about Sommer here: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/oldest-holocaust-survivor-dies-110-22640530
Music is a sort of magic, isn’t it? It touches one’s soul and brings out the sense of a pure feeling. I always feel more emotional when it is playing. It initiates those deep thoughts within me and puts me to sleep. It makes me think; it makes me relax. I could lay on my bed all day, listen to music the whole time, and be content. The high, low pitches; soft, soft notes- It just sort of clicks.
Music completes everything there is to this world. It adds in that extra touch of rhythm, thought, and feeling. A movie is not complete without music accommodating a scene, a dance is not as powerful without a beat, and a person can not be fully touched without the ringing sounds of voices and instruments. It gives life that full effect of completeness. Yet, with that “completeness” it still invokes thought. It repeats in an everlasting pattern that continues to tick around a circle. Maybe that is what makes it so fascinating.
And what makes music even more fascinating is the fact that there are innumerable amounts of songs and genres that exist. There are so many songs to choose from and it may be exhausting, but of those thousands… millions… trillions of songs there will always be at least one song that will relate to the current mood you are in. And if you can not find that one song, there is always an alternative: you can create it.
I know some of you may not be musically talented, but creating music is just like writing- only in a more simplified and “artistic” form. Write the lyrics, create a beat, and voila.
It touches me to know that Ms. Sommer shared the magic of music with the people in the concentration camps to ease their minds and soul. She was an individual who was a part of the most significant occurrences this world had encountered. She was a part of the horrors of the Holocaust, yet she still found joy. She looked to the optimistic ways of the world. She looked to music. And through this, she created hope.
When we think of war, the ultimate conclusion we come to is death. The lifeless bodies… the blackened earth… all contribute to the terrors tagging along with war. Yet with war, new experiences, knowledge, and inspirations will be created.
I guess this goes to show that life will always consist of the positive and negative. Life will always get better; and the positives and negatives are just alternating objects in this universe that will never seem to exist in one sedentary spot. Many of us want the positive. We want to live a happy life, free of all the worries, stress, and hardships. However, horrible occurrences may come rolling back your way. To overcome such situations and revive the happiness, one needs to have a change in his or her perspective. It is all a matter of how you want to portray a situation; and if you know you want to be happy, then so be it. Accept and enjoy all that life hands you. Make the best of it, just as Ms. Alice Herz-Sommer.
Ms. Sommer, thank you for inducing my mind to write and share this post with the (you!) readers. But most importantly, thank you for sharing with the world your loving and enthusiastic spirit. You will always be remembered.