‘playing the cello saved my life’


On the 27th of January 2020 the BBC published a video clip of an interview with a certain Auschwitz survivor whose name is Anita Lasker-Willfisch. Committed to Auschwitz in 1943 as a young girl, she was asked what she had done before the war to which she replied “I played the cello”. This saved her life. Every day She sat at the camp gate and played her cello in the morning when the prisoners were going out to work in the factories and again in the evening when they came back. She knew that as long as they needed music she would exist, but she had to live one day at a time; “I lived one day to the other knowing that today I am alive, tomorrow probably not, that was what life was like, everything on short notice. But I never lost my sense of appreciation.  And today I am not bitter, I am sad’” she said, “because nothing seems to have changed. People are killing each other every day as we speak. Why?”

Why indeed! Ms Lasker-Willfisch is of course elderly by now but she poses a question that should make the nations cringe with shame and embarrassment.



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