We all have that moment in life in which we are put into fire and think we won’t be able to get rid of this situation. Sometimes we face them with the help of our best friends – and it makes the things look softer and easier, but in other cases we are all alone, and even though it seems like it’s stifling and hard enough for us to handle it, we do it. After all, memories are the only things we have, and stories for a lot of other decades. When we least expect it, we are laughing of all the things that have passed, and go we go further, giving it a soundtrack, because if we stop to think, music is always by our side, present in the best and worst moments of our lives.
If we search on the Internet, we’ll see a diverse number of cases in which people were saved by the music, either by their admiration for artists or their affection for specific moments, the music can save people!
But I’d like to talk about the case of Alice Herz-Sommer, a Jewish pianist who survived Theresienstadt concentration camp, and inspired me to write about this theme. Her story was documented and won an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary, in 2014. She was – at that time – the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, but she’s died in a hospital in London, aged 110. For sure, she had had more stories of life to tell, but the best ones would certainly be the music’s ones.
Alice had faced all the dilemmas and problems that a life can give, as all human beings – disappointment in love, parents, friends and relatives’ death, etc. – but in music she’d found an inexhaustible source of faith and hope.
“With music, I was always happy, even thinking of it made me happy.” – Alice Sommer
She was an extraordinary pianist in Prague, Czech Republic, and in 1943 she was deported to the Nazi camp of Theresienstadt, where she joined an orchestra with other group of Jewish people selected to fake a moment of happiness that they used to spread all over the media to show the Germans were not only killing people there.
“There were beautiful moments, even in this difficult situation.” – Alice
It’s sad to imagine that not long ago something like this happened on Earth, and even sadder is to know that suchlike are happening nowadays, and that people a still faking it with discontinued good actions. In the documentary, Alice says that despite all suffering, she used to smile, she was always smiling and that everything is beautiful, even the pain is beautiful if we know where to look at. So I think “what kind of power was it? What kind of sensibility was it, that made she passed through all the bad things and saved these moments without any kind of resentment or grudge that make us feel so weak?” It can only be love, guys, pure love, and in her case, the love for the music.
Another thing that I have learned with it is that music, when listened by the soul, remains in our head saved as a secret that no one can take away from us. It can take us to any place we want to be at. Maybe, it had happened to Alice while she was in the camp. And the most fascinating thing is to see and feel that she was grateful as she said in the documentary that she wouldn’t feel completed if she had not passed through it all.
So, let’s all be inspired by the music, appreciating each moment, in other to achieve this sapience. With all certain, music will give us comfort and relief through all bad situations of life and delicate moments it gives us, as she said before:
“There will always be beauty if we know where to look at.”