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Alma Rose Vienna to Auschwitz

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Alma Ros�'s tragic story, from her birth and youth in the exalted musical circles of Vienna (her father was leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, her uncle was Gustav Mahler) to her death at Auschwitz, first came to public attention through the 1980 film Playing for Time. As leader of the only women's orchestra in the Nazi camps, by force of her will and spirit, she molded a ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Amadeus (first published March 1st 2003)
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Ellie Midwood
A meticulously researched biography of a truly outstanding woman. I read it for research purposes and the further I read, the more I began to admire Alma’s strong personality and boldness. Not only was she a true pioneer in conducting a highly-successful female orchestra when the music scene still mostly belonged to men but managed the impossible in a place where all hope was lost - create a new women’s orchestra out of nothing and thus save multiple lives (almost all members of her orchestra su ...more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it

In this case the title doesn't really tell it all. Much of the story takes place in the years leading up to the Nazi take over of Vienna and the rest of Europe. People were constantly changing their lives to adapt to the new SS rules and regulations and to survive as they could. By the time the story comes to the concentration camps, the prisoners have spent the last few years of their lives trying to get the proper documents so they could leave or be safe where they were. None of their effort
Carey Combe
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very moving and unsentimental.
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yet another well researched book which covers Vienna just before and during the beginning of WWII, the musicians who made Vienna the music capital, the trials and tribulations of famous Jewish musicians, and the story of Alma Rose whose father was a famous musician.
. This was a book recommended as being of interest to those who want to know more about the lives of people before and during WWII. I had never heard of Alma Rose; however, her story is worth knowing.
The first half of the book is fil
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely phenomenal. A fascinating story which brings Alma Rose to life. An account of the Nazi regime and Auschwitz, very hard to read of the sheer barbarity and cruelty, while at the same time accounts of bravery and the strength of a women's' orchestra under the leadership of Alma Rose.

Alma Rose was a truly remarkable human being. Talented, troubled and sensitive. That she had the support of so very many friends from the musical world and beyond, says it all really.

Highly recommend this b
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
While I didn't particularly care for Alma Rose, her story is interesting. The book tends to be more of a list of what music was played on what date, so it is a bit dry. I was surprised to hear that there was an orchestra in Auschwitz. Although this part isn't in the book, her brother and his wife ended up moving to London, Ontario. ...more
Judy Hyman
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An important story and one that will fascinate people who are interested in classical music history and/or WWII history.
Jessi Zeidler
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of Alma Rose before I picked this book up at a yard sale - which I did because of my interest in all things Holocaust. I never would have touched it had it not had the word "Auschwitz" on the cover.

There would always be a part of me that would know, deep down, I was deprived, not knowing this woman's story.

Alma Rose was an incredible person. Her story offers a beautiful picture of strength, endurance and remarkable clarity in the face of unending brutality. She was strong enou
Lynette Mattke
Apr 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
THe first half of the narrative was quite dry and drawn out, with lots of bland listings of specific musical works played and practiced, and lots of name-dropping. Unfortunately, the result was that the characters came across as haughty, selfish and unsympathetic. By the second half of the book, which describes Alma's work as a musician in the camp, a bit more feeling came into the book. Certainly Alma was a brave woman under terrible conditions in the camps, but overall, I was surprised how rel ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bettie by: Brazilliant Laura xx
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey, Chrissie
The controversial life and death of the violinist who led a women's orchestra in the Auschwitz death camp.
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Extraordinary in its painstaking unsentimental telling of this extraordinary life ~ from the creme de la creme of high society to the death camps.
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May 06, 2018 added it
"I too bleed, and hope for beauty." - Manca Švalbová, on the message of Alma's music at Auschwitz ...more
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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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