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The world's oldest known Holocaust survivor dies

World's Oldest Holocaust Survivor Dies at Age 110

Alice Herz-Sommer, an accomplished pianist and a Holocaust survivor, died at the age of 110 Sunday morning in London.

Herz-Sommer was believed to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor. She is the focus of the documentary "The Lady in Number 6," which is nominated for an Academy Award. (Via YouTube / allegrofilms)

The documentary highlights Herz-Sommer's experiences in the Terezin concentration camp, and the skill that kept her and her son alive.

"Trying to figure out how to survive. Knowing that any minute she would have to get up and perform and if she didn't please her captors she and her son would be exterminated that day." (Via Youtube / Everyone Matters)

"The fact that she was a pianist may have helped her survive at a German concentration camp. Along with other musicians, she performed concerts at that camp." (Via NBC )

Israeli newspaper Ynet first reported her death, with her grandson telling the paper "She passed away peacefully, with her family by her side. ... She was our inspiration and our world will be significantly duller without her in it."

Herz-Sommer's death came as a shock to those who worked with her. The producer of the documentary, Frederic Bohbot told CBC, "We all came to believe that she would just never die."

Herz-Sommer's life has been the subject of two books in addition to the documentary. No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.

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swog85 February 24 2014 at 8:57 AM

Alice Herz-Sommer was a broken finger away from knowing that she, and (most unthinkable for any mom) tragically, her son would be transported to a death camp by her German overlords. This lady triumphed by living on to play for gentle people who loved beautiful music. She reminded the world to be vigilant and to never forget what can happen to your neighbor or best friend when one turns a blind eye to hatred and prejudice in towns and cities like our own. The Holocaust was not from The Dark Ages, nor did it happen in a backward society. In the blink of an eye, it will happen again if we aren't vigilant to the happenings of hatred. Play on in Heaven, Ms. Alice, with your fellow angels!

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Yvonne February 24 2014 at 9:18 AM

Bless you, Alice for telling your story. This documentary is beautiful. My mom lived through the Nazi invasion in Europe. My maternal uncle was a member of the resistance and while he was home on leave, a neighbor turned him in to the Nazis by saying my mother's family was hiding him. The Germans came and took him away. My mother's family never saw him again. We tried to find information from the Red Cross, but there is no record of him. We believe he died in a labor camp. My mom married an American GI, came to America on a war bride ship, never to see her mother again. She lived thru the Depression, knew true hardship, hunger, poverty, etc. She came to America not speaking a word of English and faced many prejudices from people here because she did not speak English, etc. She held her head high, worked hard, never took a government hand-out, and raised my brother and me to be good, hardworking people. One of her proudest days was the day she became an American citizen. Today we know nothing of hardship the way our parents' generation did. They truly were the greatest generation. I miss her everyday. Alice, your story lives on and we must ensure that we never forget about the millions of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust, and all the many other people of other nationalities that were killed during the Holocaust.

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3 replies
lily February 24 2014 at 9:17 AM


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mrsgfandregina February 24 2014 at 8:52 AM

god rest her soul

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njenel February 24 2014 at 9:15 AM

GOD BLESS YOU ALICE. we must make sure this never happens again. God give us the wisdom to recognize the symptoms, and the bravery to stop it.

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1 reply
garabian njenel February 24 2014 at 9:34 AM

Sadly, we always say "never again" but unbelievably we see it happening in our time, again and again. When will this sickness of killing humans in a Genocide fashion continue?

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1 reply
elnpet garabian February 24 2014 at 9:51 AM

Think you meant discontinue. WE do not want it to continue but discontinue..

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Sammy February 24 2014 at 8:44 AM

Saw the documentary, amazing story. She kept playing until the end. RIP, dear lady, you hae earned your rest.

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tammygreg3122 February 24 2014 at 8:51 AM

I feel so horrible for those people that went through all of it! To me, the nazis were the devil's army! Bless all of the survivors! We love you all!

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Jewelry Queen February 24 2014 at 9:04 AM

I was writing a story about Nora Green a holcaust survivor but she passed a few months ago, she was my inspiration.. I am going to make jewelry in her honor and call it Nora. She told me not to be afraid of anything or anyone. she was 99 yrs old. I know she loved me, she gave me a piece of her jewelry and told me to keep this and a hankie that she had. It was her way of telling me she cared. She was a woman who would go to the museum every tuesday to visit there and I went there to talk to her she would come as a visitor then she would become a docent. When i would go we went to have coffee and then she would tell me about her life in Austhwitz as a child of the camps. Her sister and her were sent away to the camp with a catholic family. She was raised catholic but kept her name which was a yiddish name but the name Green did not mean anything to Germans or the Nazi's. They thought it was Catholic and kept her and her sister alive. When her sister married Nora stayed single thinking that one day she would see her parents but that never came. When her sister was retired she bought Nora to my home town and they lived here till Nora's sister Sylvia died, and then When it was Nora's time I was by her side to say its time to go home to be with your momma and Sylvia. She was very much loved, and I will miss her.

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walkingwolf February 24 2014 at 8:45 AM

an image of "true Strength"

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Paul February 24 2014 at 8:07 AM

There are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivor still alive. Time marches on and of course today's Germans are not the same as those in the 1930s and 40s.
Same thing goes for our WWII Veterans the greatest generation we ever had

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1 reply
lbreamer Paul February 24 2014 at 8:43 AM

I had read an article that said 1000 WWII veterans pass away every day now. Soon there won't be any left to tell their stories & share their wisdom. I'm sure it's the same with the Holocaust survivors and even the Germans who fought as Nazis. They are all slipping away from us.

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1 reply
mielkele lbreamer February 24 2014 at 10:07 AM

Following 'Schlindler's List'. S Spielberg has been making a huge effort to interview survivors.

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