We must not forget

24/02/2014

The oldest known survivor of the Nazi Holocaust has died in London, aged 110.

Born into a Jewish family in Prague in 1903, Ms Herz-Sommer spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp in Terezin. . .

A film about her life has been nominated for best short documentary at next month’s Academy Awards.

“We all came to believe that she would just never die,” said Frederic Bohbot, producer of the documentary, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.

Ms Herz-Sommer is said to have continued playing the works of Schubert and Beethoven until her final days.

On the film’s website, she says: “I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion. I am no longer myself. The body cannot resist as it did in the past.

“I think I am in my last days but it does not really matter because I have had such a beautiful life.

“And life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love.” . .

In 1942, her 73-year-old mother had been transported to Terezin, also known as Theresienstadt, and then on to Treblinka, an extermination camp.

“And I went with her of course till the last moment. This was the lowest point of my life. She was sent away. Till now I do not know where she was, till now I do not know when she died, nothing.”

Ms Herz-Sommer and her son, Stefan, were among fewer than 20,000 people who were freed when Terezin was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.

An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent there and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were transported on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most were killed.

Ms Herz-Sommer’s husband, Leopold Sommer, whom she had married in 1931, died of typhus at Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp in southern Germany.

Her son, who became a concert cellist, died in 2001. . .

With her death, we lose the last first-hand knowledge of that atrocious part of world history.

We must not forget it nor the inspiration of someone who could live through such horror, retain her faith and still say she had a beautiful life.


March 21 in history

21/03/2010

On March 21:

717 Battle of Vincy between Charles Martel and Ragenfrid.

Steuben - Bataille de Poitiers.png

1188  Accession to the throne of Japan by Emperor Antoku.

Emperor Antoku.jpg

1413 Henry V became King of England.

1556 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake.

1685 Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, was born.

 

1788 A fire in New Orleans left most of the town in ruins.

1800  Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.

Jacques-Louis David 018.jpg

1801 The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.

1804 Code Napoléon was adopted as French civil law.

 

1811 Nathaniel Woodard, English educationalist, was born.

 

1821 First revolutionary act in Monastery of Agia Lavra, Kalavryta, Greek War of Independence.

Epanastasi.jpg

1844 The Bahá’í calendar began.

Bahai star.svg

1844 – The original date predicted by William Miller for the return of Christ.

1857  An earthquake in Tokyo  killed more than 100,000.

1863 George Owen Squier, American inventor and Major General in U.S. Signal Corp, was born.

 George Owen Squier.jpg

1871 Otto von Bismarck was appointed Chancellor of the German Empire.

1871 – Journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

1904 Forrest Mars Sr., American candymaker, was born.

MBar 700.jpg

1905 Albert Einstein publishes his theory on special relativity.

1913 Over 360 are killed and 20,000 homes destroyed in the Great Dayton Flood in Ohio.

 

1918 The first phase of the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, began.

1919 The Hungarian Soviet Republic was established becoming the first Communist government to be formed in Europe after the October Revolution in Russia.

 

1928 Charles Lindbergh was presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight.

1933 Construction of Dachau, the first Nazi Germany concentration camp, was completed.

 

1935 Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asked the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, which means ‘Land of the Aryans’.

Reza Pahlavi.jpg

1937 18 people in Ponce, Puerto Rico were gunned down by a police squad acting under orders of US-appointed PR Governor, Blanton C. Winship.

 

1943 Vivian Stanshall, English musician, artist, actor, writer, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, was born.

1945  British troops liberated Mandalay, Burma.

1945 Operation Carthage – British planes bombed Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen but also hit a school; 125 civilians were killed.

Shellhuset12.jpg

1945 Rose Stone, American musician (Sly & the Family Stone), was born. 

Seven young adults in garish clothes and hair. The most prominent is a black man in a vest with chains; he wears an enormous afro with sideburns, and looks with narrowed eyes and closed mouth at the camera.  A black woman is in a gray wig and black dress. A white man with red hair wears a leopard print shirt and pants. There are two other black men, also in afros, another white man, with a short beard and glasses, and another black woman.

1946  Ray Dorset, English Musician (Mungo Jerry)

1946 Timothy Dalton, British actor, was born.

1950 Roger Hodgson, English musician, former member of Supertramp, was born.

1951 Russell Thompkins Jr, American singer (The Stylistics), was born.

1952  Alan Freed presented the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

1960 Massacre in Sharpeville: Police opened fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators, killing 69 and wounding 180.

1963 Alcatraz closed.

1964 Gigliola Cinquetti won the ninth Eurovision Song Contest for Italy singing “Non ho l’età” (“I’m not old enough”).

Gigliola Cinquetti - Non ho l'età.jpg

1965 NASA launched Ranger 9, the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.

Ranger 9
 

1965 – Martin Luther King Jr led 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg
Martin Luther King Jr Signature2.svg

1968 Battle of Karameh in Jordan between Israeli Defense Forces and Fatah.

Israeli raid in house during Karama.jpg

1970 The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.

 

1974  Rhys Darby, New Zealand Comedian, was born.

 

1980  US President Jimmy Carter announced a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.

1980 – On the season finale of the soap opera Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing was shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase “Who Shot JR?”

DallasLogo.jpg

1985 – Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen began his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair in the name of spinal cord injury medical research.

1990Namibia becgained its independence after 75 years of South African rule.

1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon.

 

2003 Race Relations Day was celebrated in New Zealand for the first time.

Race Relations Day celebrated for first time

2006  Immigrant workers constructing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, The United Arab Emirates and a new terminal of Dubai International Airport joined together and riot, causing $1M in damage.

Burj Khalifa.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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