A 110-year-old woman, believed to be the world’s oldest survivor of the Holocaust died in London aged 110, her family said Sunday.
Alice Herz-Sommer, a pianist and musician originally from Prague, lived in London. She is said to have regarded writer Franz Kafka among her family friends and is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary.
According to Reuters, her grandson, Ariel Sommer, confirmed her death saying: "Alice Sommer passed away peacefully this morning with her family by her bedside. Much has been written about her, but to those of us who knew her best, she was our dear 'Gigi'."
Herz-Sommer was imprisoned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp along with her son during World War II.
"My world is music. I'm not interested in doing anything else," she reportedly said in the documentary titled "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life." She and others performed in the camp to entertain their Nazi captors.
Her husband, Leopold, and mother, Sofie, did not survive the war. However, Alice and her son Raphael were freed from Nazi captivity in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated their camp, and she immigrated to Israel before settling in Britain.
"I knew that we will play," Herz-Sommer reportedly 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."
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” covers Herz-Sommer's life and is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary at the forthcoming Oscars.
Malcolm Clark, the film's director, and Nick Reed, its producer, reportedly said in a statement that the journey through Herz-Sommer’s life had been a life-changing experience for the crew and they felt honored to have captured her “lessons.”
"Even as her energy slowly diminished, her bright sprit never faltered," they said, according to a Reuters report. "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."