World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor Alice Herz-Sommer Dies at 110
JNS.org – Alice Herz-Sommer, who is considered to be the world’s oldest-known Holocaust survivor, passed away on Sunday at the age of 110 in London.
Herz-Sommer’s death comes a week before a film chronicling her life titled “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” will be up for Best Short Documentary at the March 2 Academy Awards.
“We all came to believe that she would just never die,” said Frederic Bohbot, a producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary, told the Associated Press.
Born in Prague in 1903, Herz-Sommer became an accomplished pianist. In 1943 she was sent to the Terezin-Theresienstadt concentration camp along with her son and husband. At the camp she was allowed to continue to perform music. But her husband was eventually sent to Auschwitz and then Dachau, where he died.
Following the liberation of Theresienstadt by the Soviet Union in 1945, Herz-Sommer eventually moved to the newly formed state of Israel in 1949, where she taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music.
Herz-Sommer, known for her optimism by friends and colleagues, also expressed remarkable forgiveness towards the Germans.
“I don’t hate the Germans,” Herz-Sommer has told Haaretz. “[What they did] was a terrible thing, but was Alexander the Great any better? Evil has always existed and always will. It is part of our life.”
After living in Israel for 37 years, Herz-Sommer eventually moved to London in 1986 with her son, and remained there until her death.