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.
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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.
Click here to hear the 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
person who believes good things will happen
the whole human race
given permission (to do something)
express dissatisfaction (with something)
- is up for
is being considered for (something)