The director of an Oscar-winning film about Alice Herz-Sommer has dedicated his Oscar to the late Holocaust survivor as he collected the accolade in front of a television audience of millions.
The award came exactly a week after the London-based 110-year-old, the world’s oldest known survivor, passed away. With the help of her musical talents, Alice survived two years in Theresienstadt with her son, playing around 150 concerts while in the camp.
A documentary film tracing her remarkable life, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life, picked up the best documentary Oscar at Sunday’s Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre. Director Malcolm Clarke: “When I met Alice Sommer I was struck by two things, her extraordinary capacity for joy and her amazing capacity for forgiveness. She was a woman who taught everyone on my crew to be a little bit more optimistic and a little bit more happy about all the things that were happening in our lives.”
Urging those gathered to watch the film, he added: “She’ll help you live, I think, a much happier life.” Speaking ahead of the glittering ceremony, producer Nick Reed said: “If we’re lucky enough to win the Oscar, the whole world will know for a few seconds about this incredible lady. If we told her we’d won an Oscar for a film about her life, she’d probably look at you and give you a big smile.”
Alice, who lived in Belsize Park, was remembered last week by those who knew her as “a ray of sunshine” who “loved everyone”.
Her husband and mother were both deported to other camps and she would never see either again.