Anne Herz Sommer – Everything is a Present

I want to share this video with you today in honor of Yom HaShoah – Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. The video was originally posted on Anne Herz Sommer, a concert pianist, is the oldest living Holocaust survivor. At age 108, Anne still practices piano for 3 hours every day. Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude. She has also survived cancer. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: “I look where it is good.” You can read more about Alice in the book A Century of Wisdom by Caroline Stoessinger.

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  1. my husband’s grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. He was not Jewish but was married to a Jewish woman. He hid her and took her place in the camps. He escaped twice and as he aged, his heart became heavy with sorrow. To see Ms. Sommer praise the Universe and smile is quite beautiful and inspiring. It is a lesson to be learned. Thank You for sharing.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this video. My grandparents were all Holocaust survivors, and though they have since passed away, their tragic pasts seem to be what shape my own identity the most. As a result, Yom HaShoah is always a powerful and often difficult day for me. It is amazing to see Ms. Sommer’s optimism in the face of such devastation. May we all be lucky enough to learn how to “look where it is good.”

  3. It is important to record and remember what happened during WW2 so that this tragedy does not happen again. Unfortunately the world has a short memory especially with the world reacting to Iran the way they did to germany in the 1930’s. I was in Israel in the 1980s and remember yom Hashoah well standing in silence in respect for all the fallen victims who were heroes .

  4. “Everything is a present.” What a beautiful thing I learned from watching this video of Anne. Thank you, Tori, for giving us this wonderful gift of listening to and seeing Anne. It’s amazing, all she has been through, and yet she is still happy and smiling and so wise! I’ve got tears in my eyes watching this. Sometimes when things seem like they can’t get any worse, you see and hear someone like Anne and it really really makes you stop and think, how truly blessed you really are. I am so thankful you gave us the gift of this video. Thank you, Tori.

    Your Shiksa friend,

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing the video of Anne Herz Sommer.
    We must also remember to thank the men and women who fought for four years to help free people like Ms.Sommer , of which my father was one of them.
    Always keep the memories alive so it never happens again, but never forget to forgive.

  6. Wow Tori. As someone pondering conversion to Judaism myself, your website provides such inspiration to me. What a revelation of joy, optimism, and the triumph of the human spirit. I read that she told Golda Meir, her friend and neighbor in Israel, that Beethoven was her “religion”. I am blasting Beethoven’s Violin Romance #2 in tribute to her. May she live long and smile :)

  7. my heart has been touched with sweetness: thank you so much for posting this interview~~~you have certainly given me (and many) a wonderful ‘present’ today. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. What an amazing woman, and what a wonderful and optimistic view of life. I was so touched and inspired by her laughter and her smile. Tori, thank you so much for sharing the video

  9. May we never forget the fallen heroes and Anne ……may all your days be filled rainbows & music notes…what an inspiration! My fiance is Jewish and my life is so full because of his faith and life in Israel.

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