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World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor Dies Aged 110

Alice Herz-Sommer spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp in WWII

The oldest survivor of the Holocaust passed away on Sunday aged 110, the BBC reports.

Alice Herz-Sommer, born in 1903 in Prague, was detained in the concentration camp Terezin for two years during WWII. Although her 73-year-old mother was sent to the extermination camp Treblinka, Herz-Sommer and her son Stephen were among the fewer than 20,000 people set free during the liberation of the camps by Soviet forces in 1945.

In the years after her release she became a successful pianist and music teacher at the Jerusalem Conservatory, before relocating to London in 1986. Her love of music was said to have sustained her and her fellow inmates while in the camp, where they would occasionally manage to organize concerts. A film about her life entitled The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life has been nominated for an award in the category of Best Short Documentary in next month’s Academy Awards.

Herz-Sommer stated that music was “our food. Through making music we were kept alive.” Her grandson Ariel Sommer stated that “she was an inspiration and our world will be significantly poorer without her by our side.”


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