Oldest living pianist and holocaust survivor enjoys a quiet birthday at home
Alice Herz-Sommer, the second oldest person living in London and the world’s oldest survivor of the Holocaust turned 110 on Tuesday. She celebrated at home, in her one-bedroom ground-floor flat in London’s Belsize Park.
Still going strong, Alice is by all accounts the world’s oldest living pianist and has a unique life philosophy: “I think, no I am sure,” she says, “I am one of the happiest people in the world.” During the Second World War she saw her mother and her husband put on the transports to Auschwitz while she, along with her six-year-old son, Raphael, was imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Before the war she was a renowned recitalist but now Alice lives alone in her tiny flat in central London where she still spends hours each day at her piano, practicing her beloved Bach and Beethoven.
Incredibly Alice has found a way through her music to look beyond the horrors of those days and to cherish instead what is joyful, pure and noble about her fellow man. “I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times – including my husband, my...