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Alice "Gigi" Herz-Sommer
Birth: Nov. 26, 1903
Prague
Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Death: Feb. 23, 2014
Greater London, England

Pianist, Holocaust Figure. Born in Prague, which was then in Austria-Hungary, to Friedrich and Sofie Herz. Her father was a merchant and her mother was highly educated and moved in circles of well-known writers. Alice had a twin sister, Mariana, and two brothers. Her parents ran a cultural salon. Alice's older sister Irma taught her how to play the piano, which she studied diligently, and the pianist Artur Schnabel, a friend of the family, encouraged her to pursue a career as a classical musician. She went on to study under Václav Štěpán, and at the Prague German Conservatory of Music, where she was the youngest pupil. Alice married the businessman and amateur musician Leopold Sommer in 1931; the couple had a son, Stephan who would be later known as Raphael. She began giving concerts and making a name for herself across Europe until the Nazis took over Prague, as they did not allow Jews to perform in public, join music competitions or teach non-Jewish pupils. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia, most of her family and friends emigrated to Palestine via Romania, including Max Brod and brother-in-law Felix Weltsch, but Alice stayed in Prague to care for her ill mother, Sophie, aged 72, who was arrested and killed. In July 1943 Alice was sent to Theresienstadt, where she played in more than 100 concerts along with other musicians, for prisoners and guards. Her lodge was with her son during their time at the camp, he was one of only a few children to survive Theresienstadt. Her husband died of typhus in Dachau, six weeks before the camp was liberated. Alice and her son were later emigrated to Israel to be with the family she had remaining. Alice lived in Israel for nearly 40 years, working as a music teacher at the Jerusalem Academy of Music until emigrating to London in 1986. Her son Raphael, an accomplished cellist and conductor, died in 2001 at the age of 64 in Israel at the end of a concert tour. He was survived by his widow and two sons. A 2013 film about Alice's life, The Lady in Number 6, won the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary. Alice was the world's oldest known Holocaust survivor she died in a hospital in London at the age of 110, after being admitted two days previously. Gigi as she was known to loved ones declared a firm belief in the power of music: "Music saved my life and music saves me still... I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion." (bio by: Memorial Flower) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Leopold Sommer (1905 - 1945)
 
 Children:
  Raphael Sommer (1937 - 2001)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
St Pancras Cemetery
East Finchley
London Borough of Barnet
Greater London, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Daddys♥Girl
Record added: Feb 23, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 125536776
Alice Gigi Herz-Sommer
Added by: Daddys♥Girl
 
Alice Gigi Herz-Sommer
Added by: Daddys♥Girl
 
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wonderful musician
- Yandeau
 Added: Apr. 23, 2015
I Saw The Special on Your Life. Remarkable Is An Understatement. Madame You Are A National Treasure To The World.Eternal Peace Be With You.
- internments
 Added: Apr. 15, 2015

- Freebell
 Added: Apr. 15, 2015
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