Anita’s Piano by Marion Stahl, and narrated by Anita Ron Schorr is a deeply moving story that you won’t forget in a hurry. It is a poignant and heartbreaking story, a story which unfolds during the height of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. It is a story which will leave no one untouched.
Anita led a charmed life as young girl. Living in Brno, in the erstwhile republic of Czechoslovakia, with her family, music fills her life and even at a tender age she could play the piano. She was only nine years old when her town was overran and captured by Hitler’s military forces. Anita’s beautiful world disintegrated and her family was displaced time and again over a short period of time, leaving her an orphan at the age of 15. Anita’s Piano follows her journey as she faces an uphill task to come to terms with her tragic fate, leaving her to look after herself all of a sudden, with her former beautiful life soon turning into a distant memory.
She has to endure tremendous hardships and pain, but in the process survived the horrors of the concentration camps and lived to tell her tale. Her undaunting courage and determination has won her recognition and many awards, including Movers and Shakers, Exceptional Leader Award(tm) by Senator Richard Blumenthal, the Distinguished Community Leadership Award by Governor Nancy Wyman, and the State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.
This book is as much a scrapbook as it is a memoir of a heroic woman: it is filled with photographs of family, of furniture, maps, documents, recipes, places, and other memorabilia that help bring to light the life of the amazing Anita Ron Schorr – her life as a child of a well to do, musical family in Brno, Czechoslovakia during the 1930s and 1940s as the heinous flame of Adolph Hitler consumed Europe and threatened the world. Stahl writes as though taking dictation from Anita who narrates the entire story of life during that time of change. She talks to us about the pre-war days, the mysterious news of the rise of Hitler, the pogroms, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the purge of Jews of her country, the admission to the death camps and her survival from these heinous events. Her heroics resulted in her eventually moving to the US where even now at age 83 and a grandmother of nine, she is a devoted advocate for the weakest members of our society. She received an Anti-Defamation League Award for Community Leadership and is widely sought by schools and other organizations as a guest speaker. Anita has also been nominated for the 2012 Movers and Shakers, Year in Review, by the Jewish Ledger.
The core spirit of this book is profoundly moving. Yet the importance of the content of the book is as indomitable as Anita’s spirit. At book’s end, before adding a detailed history of WW II that is very enlightening, Marion Stahl states, `I believe it is important to reflect on the roles that every country played in each and every one of these devastating actions. It is out of some convenience that we have chosen to focus on one man and his acolytes. When the facts are reviewed, we cannot keep the blame on one man or country. To take one example alone: The abandonment of Anita’s family by her own country, before and after the war. One can always find justifications, but there is never a good reason for cruel treatment.’
Despite graphic flaws, this remains a 5 star book. Grady Harp
Stahl’s book is intended as a discussion tool to introduce students to the consequence of Bullying and the Holocaust. It is just as valuable for any reader seeking a better understanding of how madness can spread so quickly and lead to such catastrophic results – how otherwise decent people can take part in, or ignore, unimaginable cruelty.” Charles Roy
“Her narrative reflects a positive attitude and touch hearts of all.” Echos and Reflexion by Anti-Defamation League at Quinnipiac University of Education.
“This book is history at its finest as you will gain the inside picture into both event and emotions. Sometimes in life losses can ultimately be gains in other avenues. I recommend this book with a 5-star rating as the contents will captivate you page after page.” Valerie Caraotta