UK & World News
Oldest Known Holocaust Survivor Dies Aged 110
The world's oldest known Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, has died in London at the age of 110.
Ms Herz-Sommer, whose life was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Lady in Number 6, passed away after being admitted to hospital on Friday.
"Alice Sommer passed away peacefully this morning (Sunday) with her family by her bedside," her grandson Ariel Sommer said.
"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."
Ms Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903. In 1943 the Nazis sent her and her son Stephan to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin.
She and Stephan were freed in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated the camp. She emigrated to Israel, before eventually settling in Britain.
Her husband died of typhus at Dachau, while her mother died at Treblinka.
An accomplished pianist, Ms Herz-Sommer and other musicians gave performances in the concentration camp in an attempt to raise the spirits of the inmates.
She once said that Beethoven was her religion and that music had saved her life. She also said she bore no grudges, and saw her life as a wonderful gift.
The film about her life has been nominated for best short documentary at the Academy Awards next Sunday.
Malcolm Clark, the film's director, and Nick Reed, its producer, said in a statement that telling Ms Herz-Sommer's story had been a life-changing experience.
"Even as her energy slowly diminished, her bright spirit never failed," the statement said.
"Her life force was so strong, we could never imagine her not being around. We can all learn so much from this most amazing woman."
An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there.
About 88,000 were moved to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed.
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