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The world's oldest Holocaust survivor and expert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer passed away Sunday in London at the age of 110.
Alice Herz-Sommer is the subject for the Oscar-nominated short biographical film, Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life, in which she talks about her life as a Holocaust survivor and pianist.
Herz-Sommer was trained as a classical pianist in Prague, preforming in many concerts before marrying and having a son. In 1943, she and her family were sent to the Czech Theresienstadt concentration camp, where her husband died, reported JTA.
Herz-Sommer played as part of the camp orchestra in order to protect her son before their liberation in 1945. As she points out in the documentary, her music literally saved her life. “As long as they wanted music, they couldn’t put us in the gas chamber. There’s a certain amount of logic in the Germans," she said.
Through it all she kept her immeasurable and inspiring optimism: “I know there is bad in the world, but I look for the good. Music is my life, music is God,” she told JTA.
NBC News reported that Lady in Number 6 crew members are shocked by the loss of Herz-Sommer. Producer Frederic Bohbot said, "We all came to believe that she would just never die. There was no question in my mind, 'would she ever see the Oscars.'"