I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times — including my husband, my mother and my beloved son. Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate.
— Alice Herz-Sommer
During World War II, Czech-born Jewish classical pianist Alice Herz-Sommer performed for her Nazi Germans captors in the Theresienstadt (English, Terezin) Jewish ghetto.
"As long as they wanted music, they couldn't put us in the gas chambers."
Watch Alice Herz-Sommer still playing, still speaking (3 minutes).
“I have not spent one minute hating”
Herz-Sommer's spiritual American cousin, Mamie Till, uttered these words years after the bereaved mother forced the nation to look at the horror of racism in the racially motivated murder of her son Emmett Till (1941-1955), in the Mississippi Delta. She had demanded the U.S. federal authorities return the 14-year-old's mutilated body to his hometown, Chicago, and placed in an open coffin on public view.