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A Garden of Eden in Hell: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer
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A Garden of Eden in Hell: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer [Format Kindle]

Melissa Muller , Reinhard Piechocki
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Alice Herz-Sommer was born in 1903 in Prague, the Prague of the Hapsburgs and of Franz Kafka, a family friend. Musically very gifted, by her mid-teens Alice was one of the best-known pianists in Prague. But as the Nazis swept across Europe her comfortable, bourgeois world began to crumble around her, as anti-Jewish feeling not only intensified but was legitimised. In 1942, Alice's mother was deported. Desperately unhappy, she resolved to learn Chopin's 24 Etudes - the most technically demanding piano pieces she knew - and the complex but beautiful music saved her sanity. A year later, she, too - together with her husband and their six-year-old son - was deported to a concentration camp. But even in Theresienstadt, music was her salvation and in the course of more than a hundred concerts she gave her fellow-prisoners hope in a world of pain and death. This is her remarkable story, but it is also the story of a mother's struggle to create a happy childhood for her beloved only son in the midst of atrocity and barbarism. Of 15,000 children sent to the camp, Raphael was one of the 130 who survived. Today, Alice Herz-Sommer lives in London and she still plays the piano every day.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4324 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Editeur : Pan Books; Édition : Unabridged (17 décembre 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°85.549 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un belle leçon de vie 17 septembre 2012
Merci à Alice Herz Sommer pour l'exemple de vie qu'elle nous donne. Ce livre nous raconte le parcours d'une juive hors du commun, car, malgré toutes les atrocités que les nazis ont fait subir aux juifs, donc aux siens, elle ne nourrit aucune haine envers les allemands; d'ailleurs elle ne nourrit aucune haine envers personne! S'il y avait un peu plus d'Alice sur cette terre, l'humanité s'en porterait mieux. J'ai apprécié ce livre et j'en conseille vivement la lecture.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Survival with the help of music 4 août 2007
Par Ralph Blumenau - Publié sur

Music could always transport Alice Sommer into an autonomous paradisical world. This helped her when the real world turned hellish under the Nazis; and the central part of the book is about those years.

She was born in 1903 into a Jewish, acculturated and German-speaking family in Prague. She started playing the piano at a very young age, and at 21, made her debut as soloist with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1931 she married Leopold Sommer and their son Stephan (later to be called Raphael) was born in 1937.

With the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 their lives changed swiftly, with humiliating restrictions being imposed on Jews day after day. And then the deportations began. First, in July 1942 her 72-year old mother was deported from her Old Age Home to Theresienstadt (and from there to the Treblinka death camp). Then a year later, in July 1943, it was the turn of Alice, Leopold and Stephan, then aged six, to be sent to Theresienstadt.

The physical conditions there were grim, but a few months before the Sommers arrived, the SS had decided to turn it into a `show camp= for observers from the International Red Cross - and so the deportees were provided with musical instruments (which had been confiscated from Jews) and were allowed to arrange their own entertainment. Alice gave many recitals, and the descriptions of these are very moving. Stephan, who was musically even more precocious than his mother had been at that age, was quickly roped in to rehearse and perform in Brundibar, the opera specially composed for the children in the camp.

As defeat for Germany drew nearer in the autumn of 1944, the SS, possibly fearing an uprising of the able-bodied men in Theresienstadt, decided to send them to the extermination camps. Alice=s husband was among these: she never saw him again. She learnt later that he had survived the death-march from Auschwitz to Dachau - only to die there of typhus.

But Himmler still wanted to preserve Theresienstadt as a `model' camp and to produce it in his defence at the end of the war. Alice had to work an eight hour day in barracks where slates were broken up to make insulating materials, work which was particularly hard on her hands; but in the evening she would often perform in the concerts that continued to be staged.

In May 1945 Theresienstadt was liberated and in mid-June Alice and Stephan were able to return to Prague and to continue their music al lives there.

But after the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948, it again became dangerous to speak freely. In March 1949 Alice decided to move with her son to Israel, where she was to live for the next 37 years. There her musical career as performer and teacher continued, while Raphael in due course became a cellist of world stature. After his marriage in 1966, he and his wife were based in London, and there Alice joined him in 1986.

The book ends with the saddest thing that can afflict a loving mother: in 2001 Raphael Sommer died of a heart attack while on a concert tour in Israel. Alice was then 98, and coped with this grief as she had coped with so many other crises in her life, drawing some comfort from music (she still plays the piano in her Hampstead home for three hours every day). Never did she give way to bitterness; she always remained life-affirming; her philosophy eschewed hatred, whether for Germans or for Arabs. Her 100th birthday drew tributes from people from many lands. This moving book is one of them.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Garden of Eded in Hell - Alice Herz-Sommer 25 décembre 2011
Par jen2dogs - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
A compelling true story about an amazing lady, with a strong will to survive and protect her son. To say music is her life is an understatement. Her music and faith in human being has kept her going, despite the horrors she has endured during her lifetime, including being incarcerated in a concentration camp and losing most of her family. She is still able to play the piano and entertain friends daily at the age of 107 and sees the good in people. Delivery of this book was speedy from overseas and the book was just as described, in excellent condition. Recommended as an excellent read and I found it very hard to put the book down once I started to read it.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Garden of Eden in Hell 23 septembre 2013
Par Linda Ness - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Unbelievable story of a woman who survives a horrendous time in our history. The most amazing part of her story, is her resistance to be taken down and how she learned to cope with her situation. Just amazing!
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great inspiration 22 février 2011
Par Patricia S. Winter - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
As I was scanning through a newspaper I stumbled on an article about the life of Alice Herz-Sommer which immediately interested me. The book is superlatively inspiring and heartwarming, one that I would highly recommend to everyone.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Garden of Eden in Hell 16 septembre 2013
Par Sr. Mary J. Buckman - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
This book was excellent in helping to understand what a section of Jewish people endured during WWII. I have shared it with others.
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