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Alice Herz-Sommer
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    (November 26, 1903-February 23, 2014)
    Born in Prague, Czech Republic
    Birth name was Alice Herz
    Classical pianist
    Imprisoned at Theresienstadt concentration camp (1943-45)
    Subject of the books 'A Garden of Eden in Hell' (2005) and 'A Century of Wisdom' (2012)
    Subject of the documentary films 'Everything Is Present' (2009) and 'The Lady in Number 6' (2013)
    Died at age 110
    Oldest known survivor of the Holocaust
    She married Leopold Sommer only two weeks after meeting him.
    At Theresienstadt, she was a member of an orchestra that was trotted out to perform for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations as propaganda to show that the 'resettlement' camps weren't so bad.
    In her old age, her favorite viewing was documentaries about her.
    Growing up, she knew Kafka as 'Uncle Franz.'
    When she and her family were sent to Theresienstadt, their Czech neighbors took their furniture, their pictures off the walls and their carpets off the floor. ('They didn't say anything. We were dead for them, I believe.')
    Her husband and mother died in concentration camps.
    Her musical talents kept her and her son from being executed.
    She said, 'I don't hate the Germans.... Evil has always existed and always will. It is part of our life.'
    In her old age, she frequently played Scrabble with Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, one of the last survivors of the Women's Orchestra at Auschwitz.
    She continued playing piano three hours a day until the end of her life.
    She said, 'Music saved my life and music saves me still... I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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