One hundred miracles of Zuzana Růžičková
One Hundred Miracles: Music, Auschwitz, Survival and Love, the remarkable memoir of Zuzana Růžičková, Holocaust survivor and world-famous harpsichordist put together by Wendy Holden is now released in paperback. This unique book was published by Bloomsbury Publishing in hardcover just a year ago.
“I spent the last two weeks of her life with her. She realized that what she was telling me would become her legacy for the rest of us. That’s why she wanted to tell the absolute truth. I also learned things from her that she had never said in interviews before,” said Wendy Holden about the origin of the book in an interview with Renata Klusáková.
Zuzana Růžičková grew up in 1930s Czechoslovakia dreaming of two things: Johann Sebastian Bach and the piano. But her peaceful, melodic childhood was torn apart when, in 1939, the Nazis invaded. Uprooted from her home, transported from Auschwitz to Hamburg to Bergen-Belsen, bereaved, starved, and afflicted with crippling injuries to her musician’s hands, the teenage Zuzana faced a series of devastating losses. 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 and passion ensured her survival of the greatest human atrocities of all time, and would continue to sustain her through the brutalities of post-war Communist rule. Harnessing her talent and dedication, and fortified by the love of her husband, the Czech composer Viktor Kalabis, Zuzana went on to become one of the twentieth century’s most renowned musicians and the first harpsichordist to record the entirety of Bach’s keyboard works.
Zuzana’s story, told here in her own words before her death in 2017, is a profound and powerful testimony of the horrors of the Holocaust, and a testament in itself to the importance of amplifying the voices of its survivors today. It is also a joyful celebration of art and resistance that defined the life of the ‘first lady of the harpsichord’– a woman who spent her life being ceaselessly reborn through her music.
“Růžičková’s book is about the fate of Bach, whose music has a very literal place in the debased world of the Lager and ghetto”
★★★★ Benjamin Poore
“a touching memoir”
★★★★ Paul Kildea | The Spectator
“a moving record of a life well lived in the face of appalling obstacles”
★★★★ Nick Rennison | The New York Times
“a compelling story of terrible suffering surmounted by incredible bravery”
★★★★ Anne de Courcy | The Daily Telegraph