Search

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

13:33 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

There has been chaos in Barnet polling stations. Photo: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Barnet Council are urging residents to go back if they were unable to vote this morning

Yesterday, 15:16
Police arrived at the Hornsey Tavern. Photo: Crouch End TV

A man who was stabbed in the stomach area rushed into a nearby pub in Hornsey where his ‘life was saved’ by a nurse who happened to be there.

Yesterday, 10:41
Police were called to reports of a stabbing

Police responded after a man was stabbed on High Street in Hornsey yesterday evening at 9pm

Tue, 22:32
Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward will remain at the helm after seeing off a challenge from Cllr Sally Gimson

There will be no change at the top of Camden Council after leader Sarah Hayward saw off a challenge from within and defeated Labour rival Sally Gimson.

Tue, 19:08
Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

Tue, 18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Tue, 17:38
Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Tue, 17:23
Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe