Remarkable People

Let us remember a few remarkable people; one is Chana Szpilman Wallace, who passed away in February, and whose recent obituary, published in this weekend’s Globe and Mail, starts with, “She may not have looked it, but Chana Szpilman Wallace was almost certainly much tougher than you”, and after reading it, one may be in no doubt about the truth of that statement. She died at the age of 107, one of the oldest survivors of the Holocaust, cousin to Wladyslaw Szpilman, the pianist who was the very last performer on Radio Warsaw before the airwaves went silent for the duration of the war, and whose  life was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning 2002 film The PianistChana Szpilman Wallace lived her long life with love, hope and faith in human kindness, an exemplary facility given the adversity she lived through…

chana szpilman wallace 2

chana szpilman wallace

Wallace explained her own secrets to long life. “From childhood, I always said that you should never give up in your life. Have faith in God and don’t give in. Never say ‘I can’t’ and don’t look for trouble. Most importantly, don’t say ‘I had a bad day yesterday.’ Think positive. Be grateful. Live for today and tomorrow, live for others before yourself, and be kind to people. Then you’ll be happy,” she said. Read another obituary on her at InsideToronto. A week after Chara Szpilman Wallace passed away, Alice Herz-Sommer, another extraordinary Holocaust survivor died at the age of 110. Also a woman of remarkable strength and fortitude, Alice was a world-renowned pianist, who used music as a balm, as a source of spiritual food, spreading her gift to so many during those terrible times and long after them. Read her obituaries in The GuardianThe Telegraph and The New York Times. Below, watch a trailer for the 2013 Academy Award-winning short documentary on her in ‘The Lady in Number 6‘ by filmmaker Malcolm Clarke (read an interview with him here). Alice wrote a book about her experiences in 2010, ‘The Garden of Eden in Hell‘…

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…watch a New York Times Op-Doc short film here on Branko Lustig, also an Auschwitz survivor and producer of the film Schindler’s List. He says, ‘I think the story of Auschwitz, when we die, the last survivors, slowly the people will forget, there will be these books and films and that’s it.”

We must pay attention to what these people have to say, as they are a gift to us all. They add immeasurable knowledge to the sum of what it means to be human.

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Laura Mvula

I like the simple animation for Laura Mvula‘s videos and I love Laura Mvula, who has been nominated for two BRIT Awards 2014. The animation below is directed by James Swindells of Powster, who won a UK Music Video Award in 2013 for Mvula’s ‘Sing To The Moon’…




and here’s Laura’s version of Nina Simone’s 1958 ‘Little Girl Blue’…

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