Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Alice Herz-Sommer: At age 110, Alice was our oldest-known Holocaust survivor

See also

Alice Herz-Sommer’s optimism and discipline helped her survive two years in a German concentration camp. Her story, as brought out in a 2006 interview with the UK Guardian, will be told for generations to come. Our oldest known Holocaust survivor died Sunday in London at the age of 110.

According to The Associated Press via MSN news Sunday, Sommers spent two years in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where nearly 35,000 prisoners were put to death under the Nazi regime.

Her grandson, Ariel Sommer, said: “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'. She loved us, laughed with us, and cherished music with us.”

Ariel said his grandmother served as an “inspiration” to many. A film about Herz-Sommer's life, entitled The Lady in Number 6, is currently nominated for the Best Short Documentary award at next Sunday night's Academy Awards.

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

Sommers said that her music kept her focused and determined to survive her ordeal in prison.

In 2006, she said: “People ask, ‘How could you make music?’ We were so weak. But music was special, like a spell, I would say. I gave more than 150 concerts there. There were excellent musicians there, really excellent. Violinists, cellists, singers, conductors and composers.”

She also gave some sage advice as to her longevity, saying her calm disposition was the secret to her long life.

“My temperament,” she replied when asked about her age. “This optimism and this discipline. Punctually, at 10am, I am sitting there at the piano, with everything in order around me. For 30 years, I have eaten the same, fish or chicken. Good soup, and this is all. I don't drink, not tea, not coffee, not alcohol. Hot water. I walk a lot with terrible pains, but after 20 minutes, it is much better. Sitting or lying is not good.”



  • Gaza school shelled
    Israeli airstrikes topple a school in Gaza suspected of housing rockets; dozens killed
  • Ebola outbreak
    An American with Ebola virus died shortly after boarding three planes
    World News
  • Why dogs smell butts
    Researchers figure out why dogs like to smell each other's butts
  • Time to stop tanning
    The surgeon general advises us not to tan as melanoma cases are on the rise
    Health News
  • Zimmerman lands dream job
    George Zimmerman lands his dream job as a security guard at a gun/motorcycle shop
  • 10 smartest states
    Here are the 10 most educated states in the U.S., did yours make the cut?
    US News