Alice Herz-Sommer, Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor & Oscar Nominee, Dies At 110
The oldest-living Holocaust survivor and the woman known for her part in the Oscar nominated short subject documentary Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life, Alice Herz-Sommer, died Sunday at 110 years old. Herz-Sommer’s grandson confirmed the news to Israeli newspaper, YNET, according to Deadline. Herz-Sommer was the main subject of Nicholas Reed’s film, which details how she survived a Nazi concentration camp and used the art of music to help inspire others.
As a pianist who lived alone in London, England, Herz-Sommer would practice music from artists like Bach and Beethoven and even used to be a “celebrated concert pianist performing to enthusiastic audiences throughout central Europe,” according to the documentary’s website. She used her music as a way to help escape the memories she experienced from once being at the Theresienstadt concentration camp with her son, Raphael, and having seen her mother and husband sent to Auschwitz.
Herz-Sommer was born in Prague to a Czech-Jewish family. Both Herz-Sommer and her son returned to Prague after being liberated by the Soviet Army, later immigrating to Israel and finally settling in England.
Reed, the producer, commented on his film and Herz-Sommer’s inspirational story on his website, saying, “Kids all over the world grow up on superheroes, what we, their parents, must remind them is documentaries tell stories about ‘real superheroes.’ Superheroes are based on great people, real people, like Alice Herz Sommer.”
Image: Malcome Clarke