A man who survived eight Nazi concentration camps—including Auschwitz—died Monday night at the age of 94, the Manchester Evening News reports. According to the BBC, Chaim Ferster was taken from his home in Poland by the Nazis in 1943. He would go on to lose 30 relatives—including his mother, father, and two sisters—in the Holocaust. He suffered typhus and malnutrition while witnessing death marches, mass executions, and more. The chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust says Ferster "survived the worst horrors known to man." But he persevered, living, as a rabbi put it, "nine lives." A family member says Ferster was "powerful, determined, indefatigable."
Ferster, who settled in England, found his experiences too difficult to discuss until he was in his 70s. His son tells the Jewish Chronicle it was a "forbidden topic" when he was growing up. But when Ferster finally found his voice, he used it, speaking to students, police, and others. His son says he was afraid "people would forget the horrors of the Holocaust." Last month, Ferster played the violin again for the first time since he was put in the camps; it had been too painful to do so for decades. And in the days before his death from pneumonia, he was visited by his 92-year-old sister, the only other family member to survive the Holocaust. Hundreds are expected to attend his funeral Tuesday. (University uncovers songs from Holocaust survivors.)