The remarkable memoir of Zuzana Ruzickova, Holocaust survivor and world-famous Harpsichordist. An inspiring and spirited account of a life spent living and breathing music, of finding beauty in world of chaos and disorder.
Johann Bach and the piano: the motifs running through Zuzana Ruzickova’s melodic youth in 1930s Czechoslovakia. But aged just twelve years old, Zuzana was uprooted from her childhood home into a nightmarish adolescence under the Nazi regime. From Terezin to Auschwitz, separation to death, starvation to a crippling injury that damaged her musician’s hands, Zuzana faced devastating defeats at every turn. Yet with every truck and train ride, a small slip of paper printed with her favourite piece of Bach’s music became her talisman. Armed with this `proof that beauty still existed’, Zuzana’s fierce bravery, strength of spirit and passion for the arts ensured her survival of the greatest human atrocities of our time, as well as further oppression under the Communist era of 1948. Determined that music would be her path to recovery, Zuzana went on to become one of the twentieth century’s most renowned musicians and the first person to record the entire keyboard works of Bach.
This remarkable and poignant memoir bears witness to the tragic events of the Second World War, insisting that the Holocaust narrative is kept alive, while celebrating the astonishing achievements of the `first lady’ of the harpsichord. Told in Zuzana’s own words with unwavering honesty, this inspiring first-hand account demonstrates the tremendous power of belief in love, faith, and beautiful sound in the most silent of times.