Life Is Beautiful, Love Is Beautiful by John Cali and Spirit

Crematorium_Terezin_cemeteryCrematorium and graveyard at Terezin concentration camp

Last Sunday one of my all-time favorite people died. Alice Herz-Sommer was 110 years old.

Alice survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp at Terezin. Even though her husband and many family and friends died there, she came away physically and emotionally unharmed. It’s pretty hard to believe, but Alice bore no hatred or resentment toward Nazi Germany.

She loved music and it’s part of the reason she walked away from Terezin virtually unscathed. She said, “I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion.” And she said “Hatred brings only hatred.”

What a magnificent way to live out your life—and what a magnificent lady!

Shortly before she died Alice said “I think I am in my last days but it doesn’t really matter because I have had such a beautiful life. And life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love.”

Most of us will never experience the horrors Alice did. Yet we sometimes still need reminders to be thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives—I know I certainly need a reminder now and then.


In this video, Everything Is a Present, Alice talks about all she‘s thankful for in her life.

Related links:

What Is Forgiveness and Why Do You Need It?
A Life Without Hatred
The Meaning of Life
A God of Hatred


What are you most thankful for in your life? What can you do to be even more thankful for the rich blessings we all have? Please share your thoughts and comments with us.


What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.

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About John Cali

John Cali is a writer, blogger, and channel for a group of spirit guides. His next book is Conversations With Spirit: Real Answers to Life’s Pesky Questions, Book 1. John lives in northwestern Wyoming. Sign up for his newsletter here.

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23 Responses

  1. beachdrifter

    Hi John,

    what you wrote about her story reminds me of a quote by Abraham that I recently transcribed:

    “You have guidance within you. And when you feel love in your heart, things can not go wrong for you!”

    It has become my favorite thing to remember whenever I’m facing a challenging situation. It soothes me instantly – and then the situation turns around. But it’s the soothing that’s the main event – because when I’m already soothed, the situation resolving itself feels so natural that nothing else even makes sense.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, beachdrifter. I love that quote — it pretty much says it all! My experience is the same as yours — the soothing brings things to an easy resolution.

  2. Sarah D

    Yay!! The Lady In Number Six won the Oscar in the documentary category! Well done, what a fine tribute to a special lady!

  3. Pat

    Beautiful reminder of love from a beautiful woman. I shared, John. Thank you.

  4. Sarah D

    Hi again John
    I don’t know if you were aware, but a documentary about Alice Herz Sommer premiered in June 2013. It’s called The Lady In Number Six and has been nominated for an Academy Award. It was on a news clip obituary about Alice last week.

    • John Cali

      Hi Sarah,

      I had heard of it, but didn’t know it was nominated for an Academy Award. That’s great! That should get her inspiring story out to a lot more folks.

      Thanks very much for letting me know.


  5. Micki

    Hi John,
    What a beautiful woman, we can learn so much just from that short video. Love of Life, love of Music and no regrets. Thank you.
    Love and hugs,

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Micki. She certainly is a most beautiful woman, and an inspiration to us all — a powerful reminder of what is possible when we tune in to who we really are.

      Love & hugs,

  6. Joan Kappes

    ‘Thank you’ for sharing this, John. Absolutely beautiful……

      • Gail McGraw

        Loved today’s post re Alice Sommer-Hertz. What an inspiration!!! Thank you, John.

        • John Cali

          You’re most welcome, Gail. Alice certainly is a great inspiration and role model for all of us.

  7. Barbara

    Hi John,

    Just this morning I heard an interview with Robert Schwartz, author of “Your Soul’s Plan” and “Your Soul’s Gift”. In it he said that after they have come to earth to achieve whatever they set out to achieve, some souls stick around to continue to be of service to humanity.

    I immediately thought of Harry Patch and others from WWI who stuck around and continued to teach for many years. I feel Alice had a similar mission and would honour and thank her and all those who have served and taught so well.


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Barbara.

      I agree with Bob Schwartz — and that is certainly true of Harry Patch and Alice Herz-Sommer.

      Love, John

  8. Graham Cope

    Dear John,

    What a wonderful example of the human spirit. To remain so positive after such an experience is inspiring. Could it be that her positivity, love, forgiveness, and music led to her health and longevity? Her story is fascinating, and makes one wish to know more of it. Thank you very much for your post, John.
    I feel sure I could write a list to fill this screen, but I will offer just a few examples of my daily gratitude. I feel grateful when I wake up in the morning after a good night’s sleep, when I taste a warming cup of tea, when I see my daughter light up with joy at the silliest things, when I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.
    I haven’t had the harrowing experiences of Alice, so I know there is little comparison, but I believe I am very lucky to be experiencing this life and I remain thankful every single day.
    Best wishes to you,


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Graham. I’m sure her positive attitude, and her music, were a big part of her longevity.

      That’s great that you do a daily gratitude routine. I do also. What a difference it makes!

      There is so much to be thankful for in this life, although — like you — I’ve never had to deal with the heartbreaking trauma Alice did. She’s a magnificent inspiration to all of us!


  9. Sarah D

    What a beautiful soul, so humble and humbling. Thank you so much for sharing. The video really touched and inspired me. Beautiful piano playing too!

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Sarah. Yes, her piano playing was beautiful. If I recall correctly she was a concert pianist before the Nazis came to power.

  10. Pat

    I’d never heard of her until your message. Thanks so much for posting it. That magnificent lady almost has to be the inspiration for the 1997 film Life Is Beautiful. If you haven’t seen it it’s worth watching.

    • John Cali

      You’re welcome, Pat. I have seen Life Is Beautiful — several times, in fact. It’s one of my favorite films.

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