Oldest known Holocaust survivor dies at 110 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Oldest known Holocaust survivor dies at 110

Posted: Updated:
At 110 years old, the oldest known Holocaust survivor dies over the weekend. (Source: Nick Reed/National Archives/Matthew Percival Photography/CNN) At 110 years old, the oldest known Holocaust survivor dies over the weekend. (Source: Nick Reed/National Archives/Matthew Percival Photography/CNN)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Former Iron Curtain still barrier for deer

    Former Iron Curtain still barrier for deer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:54 AM EDT2014-04-23 06:54:57 GMT
    The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West.
    The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West.
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some

    Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:44 AM EDT2014-04-23 06:44:25 GMT
    On the night of Oct. 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII did something so natural that it's astonishing it was so revolutionary at the time. He came to the window of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and spoke to...
    On the night of Oct. 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII did something so natural that it's astonishing it was so revolutionary at the time. He came to the window of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and spoke to thousands of...
  • Syrian rebels make last stand for Homs

    Syrian rebels make last stand for Homs

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-04-23 06:36:15 GMT
    Weakened Syrian rebels are making their last desperate stand in Homs, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad launch their harshest assault yet to expel them from the central city, once known as the capital of...
    Weakened Syrian rebels are making their last desperate stand in Homs, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad launch their harshest assault yet to expel them from the central city, once known as the capital of the...

(CNN) - The world's oldest known Holocaust survivor has died at age 110, her grandson told CNN Sunday.

Alice Herz-Sommer, a talented musician and pianist, lived alone in her London flat, according to a 2014 Oscar nominated documentary about her extraordinary life.

"My world is music. I'm not interested in doing anything else," she said in The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.

Originally from Prague in what was then Czechoslovakia, Herz-Sommer was imprisoned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. It was music that saved her. She and others performed concerts that entertained the Nazis.

"I knew that we will play," Herz-Sommer told the filmmakers. "And I was thinking when we can play it can't be so terrible. The music, the music! The music is the first place of art. It brings us on an island with peace, beauty and love."

Theresienstadt was a ghetto-labor camp to which the SS deported and then incarcerated certain categories of German, Austrian, and Czech Jews, based on their age, disability as a result of past military service, or domestic celebrity in the arts and other cultural life, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Herz-Sommer "grew up in a cultured and loving family which was part of the German-speaking Czech-Jewish assimilated society," the documentary's website says.

Her mother was a playmate of composer Gustav Mahler and as a child Herz-Sommer often played with German-language novelist Franz Kafka who came to her home for Sunday lunch.

Herz-Sommer was living in Prague when she received her deportation summons from the Nazis, the documentary site explains. Her mother and husband had already been transported to Auschwitz where they were gassed, the site says. Both Herz-Sommer and her 5-year-old son, it says, were sent to the Theresienstadt camp.

"As an adult Raffi had remarkably few dark memories of the camp," according to the filmmakers.

The son said that his mother somehow "managed to protect him from the worst realities of life at the mercy of the Nazis."

Herz-Sommer and her son returned to Prague after being liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945, according to the film.

A clip on the site shows Herz-Sommer laughing, something she did a lot of in her later years.

Her family surrounded her at her bedside before she died Sunday, her grandson Ariel Sommer told CNN.

"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," he wrote. "She was an inspiration and our world will be significantly poorer without her by our side. We mourn her loss and ask for privacy in this very difficult moment."

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.