Search

World’s oldest known Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer dies aged 110

PUBLISHED: 13:33 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:34 24 February 2014

Alice Herz-Sommer with A Garden of Eden In Hell, a book exploring her life story. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Alice Herz-Sommer with A Garden of Eden In Hell, a book exploring her life story. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

The world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor has died aged 110, her family have said.

Alice Herz-Sommer, who lived in Belsize Grove, Belsize Park, was imprisoned in the camp in Terezin, or Theresienstadt, in Germany during the Second World War.

Ms Herz-Sommer, originally from Prague, was a talented musician and an adept pianist.

She is said to have counted esteemed existentialist writer Franz Kafka among her family friends and, more recently, was the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary about her life.

The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life, a 38-minute film, is up for best short documentary at the Academy Awards to be handed out next weekend.

Last night, her grandson, Ariel Sommer, said: “Alice Sommer passed away peacefully this morning with her family by her bedside.

“Much has been written about her, but to those of us who knew her best, she was our dear ‘Gigi’. She loved us, laughed with us, and cherished music with us.

“She was an inspiration and our world will be significantly poorer without her by our side. We mourn her loss and ask for privacy in this very difficult moment.”

Writing on the film’s website, Ms Herz-Sommer said: “Music saved my life and music saves me still.”

She is said to have spent her final days continuing to play the works of Schubert and Beethoven at her home.

Speaking on the film’s website, she said: “I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion. I am no longer myself. The body cannot resist as it did in the past.

“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.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

58 minutes ago

Police have thanked the press and public for their help after finding a 39-year-old woman who was missing from Marylebone and last seen at the Golders Green Parish Church on February 12.

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin has urged our government to publicly deny that she is a spy and proclaim her innocence, after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against her five-year sentence.

06:30

Candidates hit the streets over the weekend as the general election campaign kicked off.

Yesterday, 07:00

A mural to commemorate Prince on the anniversary of his death has been unveiled outside the Electric Ballroom, in Camden.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It will be a relief to many that a watering hole in St John’s Wood dating back more than 200 years will stand to serve another pint on May 2.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed Liberal Democrats’ claims that they are the only opposition to the Tories and that voting for them could halt Brexit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A group of teachers from a Muswell Hill school paid a visit to Singapore over the Easter break in a bid to expand their outlook on the teaching of maths.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The woman, aged 24, is still being treated in hospital for “life-changing injuries” five days after the crash in Elgin Avenue.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now