Alice Herz-Sommer, who has died aged 110, was a pianist whose unending optimism came to symbolise the triumph of good over evil. She survived two years in Terezín, the “model” concentration camp used by the Nazis to convince the outside world that they were treating Jewish prisoners well, and at the time of her death was the oldest known Holocaust survivor.
Terezin is just down the road from where I’m working in Bohemia. And just up the road, over the border in Pirna, is the first of the “hospitals” the Nazis used to liquidate the disabled. Both are well run museums these days and being in this part of the world I really ought to check them out. But I’m afraid that I’m too much of a coward.
A couple of decades ago I went to a small museum in Prague. Based upon the toys that children (in Terezin I think) had left behind after their liquidation. I simply burst into tears at the evil of it all. Blubbered as if I too was 4 again.
Just not got the courage to go through all that again.