Last updated at 13:14 GMT, Monday, 24 February 2014

Oldest Holocaust survivor dies

Summary

24 February 2014

The woman thought to be the oldest survivor of the Nazi holocaust has died in London at the age of 110. Alice Herz-Sommer was born into a Jewish family in Prague and spent two years in the Nazi camp at Terezin, or Theresienstadt, located in what is now the Czech Republic.

Reporter:

Vincent Dowd

The Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

A monument in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was built in Berlin

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Alice Herz-Sommer had to face some of the worst events of the 20th Century: her husband died in the Dachau concentration camp. But she remained an optimist with a faith in humankind.

Born in 1903, she knew the writer Franz Kafka as a family friend.

Alice was taught piano: when she played, she said, she was with God. At Theresienstadt she was allowed to play still, which made her think the camp would not be so bad.

She was lucky to get out alive with her young son. Stephan, she said, had helped her survive.

Alice Herz-Sommer: "Love! When you love somebody it's beautiful. People complain. Why complain?"


Next week, a documentary about Alice Herz-Sommer's life is up for an Oscar.

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Vocabulary

to face

(here) to endure or to bear a very difficult or painful situation

concentration camp

prison where large numbers of ordinary people are kept, often in bad conditions, usually during a war or for political reasons

optimist

person who believes good things will happen

humankind

the whole human race

allowed

given permission (to do something)

complain

express dissatisfaction (with something)

is up for

is being considered for (something)

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