Alice Sommer-Herz, world's oldest Holocaust survivor, dies at 110

By Marcus Dysch, February 24, 2014
Alice Sommer-Herz was born in Prague in 1903

Alice Sommer-Herz was born in Prague in 1903

Alice Sommer-Herz, the world's oldest Holocaust survivor, has died at the age of 110.

Born in Prague in 1903, she survived the Nazi concentration camp at Terezin to become a world-renowned concert pianist in Israel.

Ms Sommer-Herz moved to London in 1986 and spoke of how the tragedy of her younger years had "enriched" her life.

"There are three things in my life," she had said. "The love from the mother to the child, which is the basis of everything; nature, which is so beautiful; and music. This is my religion."

She continued to live independently in Belsize Park, north London, after turning 100 and went swimming every day up to the age of 97.

Alice Sommer-Herz in her youth

Alice Sommer-Herz in her youth

In her later years Ms Sommer-Herz reflected: "I have never hated, and I will never hate."

Following her death on Sunday, 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."

A documentary about Ms Sommer-Herz's life is nominated for an Oscar at next week's Academy Awards.

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said: "With the passing of Alice Sommer-Herz we are once again reminded that Holocaust survivors will not be with us forever.

"We must all take on the responsibility to ensure that the horrors they endured are never forgotten. Our thoughts are with her family.”

Last updated: 1:48pm, February 24 2014