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Alice Herz-Sommer, who is said to have counted writer Franz Kafka among her family friends and is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, was a Jewish pianist and musician from Prague in what is today the Czech Republic.
In 1943, the Nazis sent her and her young son to Theresienstadt concentration camp, where tens of thousands of people lost their lives.
Neither her husband Leopold nor her mother Sofie survived World War Two, but she and her son did. Herz-Sommer, who along with other musicians gave concerts in the concentration camp to keep up her spirits and those of people around her, said before she died that Beethoven was her religion and that music had saved her life and still saved her. In a text about her on the website of Reed, the documentary’s producer, she was quoted before her death as saying she remained upbeat about life despite sensing she was coming to the end of it. Less than $1.00 is allotted for each student annually in the State of Florida for education of the Holocaust. Although many of her family died in the Holocaust, she has said that she is happy--cherishing every day she is allotted. There are two films about her life, and her biography features an introduction by the late President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel.
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Phthalates Might Be Making Us Fat — Now Will People Start Caring About These Chemicals Found Almost Everywhere? Will The DEA Legalize Marijuana Across America If PTSD Study Shows ‘Acceptable Medical Use’? Born in 1903 Prague, Alice grew up in a home constantly surrounded by music, culture, and the arts.
But her joyful childhood was only a small step on her way to eventually being known as the oldest Holocaust survivor. In 1931 she married Leopold Sommer, also a musician, and the two would have a son named Rafael in 1937. Within a year after the death of her mother, Alice and her family were tossed into the Terezin-Theresienstadt concentration camp.
The oldest man in the world could be an Israeli Holocaust survivor aged 112, scientists have said.
An email sent to Kristal’s grandson from the US-based Gerontology Research Group, an international body that tracks people 110-years-old and above that works with the Guinness World Records, said Kristal was now a candidate for the title. But he faces a challenge in verifying the claim as he’ll be required to provide concrete proof in the form of official documentation. Kristal was reportedly born in 1903 in the town of Zarnow in Poland to a religious Jewish family – a year in which Stalin joined the Bolsheviks in Tsarist Russia, Ford produced its first ever car and King Edward VII was made British Emperor of India. He moved to Lodz, Poland, to work in his family’s sweets business when he was 17-years-old, a job that was interrupted when the city was made into a ghetto by the Nazis during the Second World War.
In 1950, he moved to Haifa in the newly established state of Israel with his second wife and their son, where he continued making confectionery. He remained religious throughout his life, puts on tefillin and prays every day, reciting the prayers off by heart as his eyesight is poor.
The current oldest living person is an American woman, 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York.

Chana Szpilman Wallacea€™s indomitable spirit helped her survive Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
She survived starvation, forced labour camps and came within a breath of death at the hands of the Nazis, yet even under the darkest of circumstances her spirit couldn’t be broken. Chana Szpilman Wallace, one of North America’s oldest Holocaust survivors, lived through the most notorious death camps, including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. With death omnipresent for more than five years of Wallace’s life, her family credits her spirituality and belief in humanity for surviving and allowing her to live a long and healthy life. That legacy began in Poland in 1907 when Wallace was born as the second youngest of eight children in a family widely known for its musical talent.
After the 1939 occupation of Poland, Wallace was forced to flee her home and was soon taken to a labour camp. After surviving years without enough food and watching others perish around her, Wallace was transported to Auschwitz in September 1944 where she stared death in the face. When Wallace disembarked from the train, Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor who tortured prisoners using deadly human experiments, was directing the new arrivals. In January 1945, she was transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany. After the conclusion of the war, Wallace lived in Munich, Germany, for a short time before her brother-in-law sponsored her move to Canada in 1948. Wallace leaves her niece, Helene Shifman, two nephews, five great-nephews, a great-niece and countless others whose lives she touched.
Guinness Book World Records(NEW YORK) -- A 112-year-old Holocaust survivor has officially been named the oldest living man in the world.Israel Kristal was born on Sept. She and her son Raphael were freed from Nazi captivity in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated their camp, and emigrated to Israel before settling in Britain. It has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary at the forthcoming Oscars. It is nearly impossible for students to grasp the material and understand its relevance with inadequate curriculum, training and supplies.
With your help, we can use the lessons of the Holocaust to teach one more child not to hate.
This photo is one of many that have been posted and can be viewed at the Holocaust Remembrance Photo Exhibition. Alice Herz-Sommer, these days resident in London, survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp to enjoy a distinguished career.
Born in Prague in November 1903, she was one of twins and also had an older sister who was her first piano teacher.
Alice Herz Sommer was an extraordinary woman whose music saved countless lives during her two years at the Terezin-Theresienstadt concentration camp in the northern part of what is now the Czech Republic. It was not uncommon for artists of all forms to stop by her family home and spend time there. Growing up during the World War I era, difficulty and sadness were an everyday part of life. When the boy was two, the Nazis would invade Czechoslovakia, bringing the Holocaust to bear on her home country. Three times a year, the Red Cross would come and Alice would perform one of her concerts for the entire camp.

The family of Yisrael Kristal was reportedly contacted by US researchers following the death of a 112-year-old Japanese man earlier this week. The previous holder of world’s oldest man, Yasutaro Koide, of Japan, died on 19 January, just two months short of his 113th birthday. His family says he holds a marriage certificate from the 1920s but it’s not certain if this will be enough. After losing his two sons, he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 aged 40, where he managed to survive but lost his wife. He is not an angry person, he is not someone who seeks to an accounting, he believes everything has a reason in the world,” Kuperstoch added . The oldest person ever recognized by Guinness was France’s Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Her father was a renowned violinist who taught her first cousin, Wladyslaw Szpilman, protagonist of the 2002 film The Pianist.
British and Canadian soldiers eventually freed Wallace and thousands of others in April 1945. Within a year she was reunited with her husband, but learned that their son was killed at the age of 17 by Polish hoodlums after the war. It is imperative our future generations recognize the danger of prejudice and hate and instead approach others with respect and acceptance. It does not cost much to change lives, yet only through your dedication can we continue to do so.
Even before the Germans rolled into Prague, she had begun forging a reputation as a fine pianist and stayed to look after her mother when many in her family left.
Titled Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life, the documentary was nominated for an Oscar in the category of best documentary. Jews were no longer allowed to perform in public, teach non-Jewish students, or even leave their homes without permission.
He has already been named in media reports as the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor following the death of London-based Alice Hertz-Sommer in 2014.
The short 40 minute story tries to give a glimpse into the life of a woman who used her amazing talent on the piano to give hope to her Jewish brothers and sisters during the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.
Enrolling in the German music academy in Prague at the age of 16, Alice became known throughout all of Europe for her talent on the piano. After the war, Hertz-Sommer moved to Israel, where she spent most of her life playing and teaching music. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. After the Nazis invaded Poland, Kristal was moved into the Lódz ghetto with his family in 1939.

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