Alice Herz-Sommer and Her Oiano: A Long (109 Years) and Meaningful Life

October 3, 2014 7:21 PM

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Alice Herz-Sommer and Her Oiano: A Long (109 Years) and Meaningful Life

Almost by accident, I attended a noon lecture recommended by a friend. The speaker was Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of the Julliard School, where extraordinarily gifted music students perfect their art. Having heard this music historian speak the evening before about several central European composers who lived during the tumultuous World War II era, I appreciated his capacity to inspire and bring their musical stories to life. His lecture was part of the Music at Menlo summer chamber music festival.

The talk focused on Jewish artists sent to Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, dressed up and disguised as a thriving cultural community of Jewish artists to impress and placate the International Red Cross inspectors during their thrice-yearly visits.

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