The great cello survivor turns 90

The great cello survivor turns 90


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2015

On Friday, surrounded by family and music, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch will celebrate her 90th birthday.

Anita survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She came to London in 1946 and became a focal member of the musical community, a co-founder of the English Chamber Orchestra,  a moral presence wherever music was made.

In this new interview for the Royal College of Music archive, Anita talks about her childhood in Breslau (Wroclaw), studying in Nazi Germany with Leo Rostal, making music in Auschwitz with Mahler’s niece, Alma Rosé… and so much more. Of survival she says: ‘It was arbitrary…. I was lucky.’



  • Stweart says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANITA and many more !

  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Anita Lasker wrote an autobiography Inherit the Truth, originally published in 1996. Watch the video interview Norman recommends, and then read her book.

    An even longer video interview (2 hours and 10 minutes), recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation, can be seen here:

  • Polly van der Linde says:

    Anita was also interviewed in the film “The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life,” the story about Alice Herz Sommer

  • erich says:

    What a wonderful lady – and a wonderful ‘antidote’ on a day when a 94 year old ex-guard at the camp was sentenced to prison in Lüneburg for his crimes!

  • Patrick Hogan says:

    There are those whose goodness, inner strength and calm enables them to rise above tyranny, oppression and the general lot of mankind. They are to be treasured, for they are what we should be.

  • Stephen says:

    I was fascinated by this video from beginning to end. Thank you, Norman!