The harpsichord player who survived Auschwitz

The harpsichord player who survived Auschwitz


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2012

Zuzana Ruzickova, 85 years old tomorrow, is a doyenne of the harpsichord and one of its most famous teachers.

She has worked with some of the greatest virtuosi, including Sviatoslav Richter and Josef Suk (below) and will be showered with tributes from all over the world.


Less well known are her experiences under Nazi occupation in the concentration camps of Terezin and Auschwitz. She speaks about them freely in this (English-text) interview with Czech Radio. Read it here:

The Germans had us building traps for tanks, and we then we heard shooting and we realised that the Allies were very near. Then the Nazis left and didn’t leave us any water or food. But the Allies didn’t come. For three days we were there, trapped, without food and without knowing what was happening, until the British came the third day…


  • A friend of mine and wonderful violinist was also at Terezin and Auschwitz. Here is a post I recently put up on him: