Alice Herz-Sommer, a Holocaust survivor and subject of a Shoah documentary currently nominated for an Oscar, died Sunday in London.
At 110 years old, Herz-Sommer was believed to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor at the time of her death. She was a prisoner at the Terezin concentration camp, where she was able to survive after guards discovered her immense talent for piano. While at the camp, Herz-Sommer gave more than 100 recitals.
Her story was detailed in the short documentary, “Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life.” The film has a shot at receiving an Academy Award at the ceremony that takes place this Sunday.
Herz-Sommer continued playing piano for the remainder of her life, and was widely credited as the oldest living active pianist in the world. The Prague native immigrated to the UK after the war, where she continued her classical career both onstage and in her small flat, where neighbors would often visit to hear an afternoon of music from the fingers of the centenarian.
“Kids all over the world grow up on superheroes, what we, their parents, must remind them is documentaries tell stories about ‘real superheroes.’ Superheroes are based on great people, real people, like Alice Herz Sommer,” wrote Nicholas Reed, producer of “Number 6,” on his personal website.
Herz-Sommer died early Sunday in a London hospital after being admitted on Friday.