Holocaust survivor

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He Spent His Life Assuming His Brother Died in WWII. He Didn't

Eliahu Pietruszka, 102, met the nephew he never knew he had on Thursday

(Newser) - Eliahu Pietruszka shuffled his 102-year-old body through the lobby of his retirement home Thursday toward a stranger he had never met and collapsed into him in a teary embrace. Only days earlier, the Holocaust survivor who thought his entire family had perished in WWII learned that a younger brother had... More »

Famed Holocaust Artist, Survivor Allegedly a Fake

Rosemarie Koczy's life story is questioned

(Newser) - Rosemarie Koczy's drawings displayed at the Guggenheim and the World Holocaust Remembrance Center are haunting—not at all surprising given that Koczy described them as "burials for those I saw die" in concentration camps as a child. And yet the authenticity of that statement, and of the German-born... More »

World's Oldest Man Dies at 113

Candymaker Yisrael Kristal was only member of his immediate family to survive Auschwitz

(Newser) - He survived Auschwitz, ran a confectionery business, and recently took over as the world's oldest man, per Guinness World Records. On Friday, Yisrael Kristal died in Haifa, Israel, at age 113, just one month shy of his 114th birthday, the BBC reports. Kristal, who was born in Poland, lost... More »

How 1.3M Jews Are 'Missing' in the Holocaust

Recording names is a big focus as Israel marks its Holocaust Remembrance Day

(Newser) - It's an unforgettable number—6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust—but it's accompanied by a less known one: 4.7 million. The latter is the number of victims whose names we know thanks to the efforts the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial has made since 1954. And on... More »

University Uncovers Songs From Holocaust Survivors

Songs were sung in Krakow cellars to inspire people to resist the Germans

(Newser) - At the end of World War II, a Jewish trauma psychologist in Illinois went to Europe to record conversations with Holocaust survivors in the hopes of better understanding how they were coping, reports Newsweek . He often broke the ice by having people sing, but when he died in 1961 and... More »

He Bet His Life and Brought Joy to Millions

'Newsweek' tells of the remarkable life of Henry Orenstein

(Newser) - His name is Henry Orenstein, and as a Newsweek profile makes clear, the 93-year-old New Jersey resident really ought to be a household name. For starters, he survived the Holocaust thanks to a risky gamble. For another, he's a prolific toy inventor and the brainchild behind the Transformers franchise.... More »

Man Held at 9 Nazi Camps Dies

His life mission was to speak about Nazi atrocities

(Newser) - During his imprisonment at nine separate concentration camps, including Auschwitz, Abraham Peck expected death to come at any moment. Instead, he lived a full life that came to an end last Thursday at age 91 due to kidney failure, reports the New Jersey Record . The last Jewish survivor from the... More »

Mein Kampf Proceeds Will Go to Holocaust Survivors

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt says all funds will go to Boston-based group that helps survivors

(Newser) - Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has decided to donate proceeds from Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler's infamous manifesto, to a local organization that works with aging Holocaust survivors, the AP reports. The move comes after HMH was criticized by Jewish advocates for its plans to donate proceeds and royalties from... More »

Man Admits to Lying About Escaping Auschwitz

Joseph Hirt even got an actual prisoner's number tattooed on his arm

(Newser) - A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man has admitted to lying for years about being an Auschwitz survivor, even going so far as to have an actual prisoner's number tattooed on his arm, the AP reports. Joseph Hirt has lectured to numerous school groups and organizations about his experience escaping from Auschwitz.... More »

Auschwitz Survivor Denied Testimony in Nazi Guard's Trial

Joshua Kaufman traveled all the way from California to Germany to testify

(Newser) - An 88-year-old Auschwitz survivor who traveled all the way from his home in Los Angeles to Germany to testify in the trial of a former Nazi SS guard will not be allowed to do so, a judge ruled Friday. "I lost my whole family, I survived five concentration camps,... More »

Holocaust Survivor's MLB Dream to Come True

Hermina Hirsch to sing national anthem at Detroit Tigers game

(Newser) - Hermina Hirsch has sung the national anthem at weekly meetings of Holocaust survivors for decades, but she always dreamed of having a larger audience. Now she'll get her chance. After telling her family her dream of singing at an MLB game, a granddaughter reached out to the Detroit Tigers,... More »

Holocaust Victims Return to Auschwitz 71 Years Later

Some wore sashes that recalled the striped clothing prisoners were forced to wear

(Newser) - Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz on Wednesday, exactly 71 years after the Soviet army liberated the death camp that has become the most powerful symbol of the human suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany during World War II. The commemoration at the former death camp in southern... More »

Survivor of Nazi Camps' Only Mass Escape Has Died

Thomas Blatt worked to ensure Sobibor couldn't be erased

(Newser) - After an extraordinary life of tragedy and triumph, Holocaust survivor Thomas Blatt passed away at home in Santa Barbara on Saturday, reports the Los Angeles Times . He was 88 and suffered dementia. Though 250,000 who arrived at Sobibor concentration camp never left, Blatt was one of 50 Jews to... More »

Holocaust Survivors Live 'Close to Desperation'—in US

30K around NYC are living in poverty

(Newser) - About 30,000 Holocaust survivors living in New York City and three surrounding counties are at or below the poverty line, the Wall Street Journal reports. After enduring Nazi horrors, fleeing their homelands, and struggling to make new lives in America, advocates say the plight of these survivors grows more... More »

Survivors Mark 70 Years Since Auschwitz Liberation

World leaders join some 300 at death camp ceremony

(Newser) - Seventy years to the day since the liberation of Auschwitz, some 300 survivors gathered at the infamous Nazi death camp to reflect on the occasion. Candles are being lit at the execution site known as the Death Wall as world leaders attend a ceremony this afternoon. It could be the... More »

France to Pay Holocaust Survivors Sent to Camps in French Trains

They and their heirs can collect from $60M compensation fund

(Newser) - During World War II, France's state rail company transported about 76,000 Jewish prisoners to Nazi camps. Today, those who survived and made it to the US and other countries are getting some payback from the French government, reports the Wall Street Journal . France has agreed to set up... More »

Holocaust Survivor, 97, to Play Lincoln Center

Emily Kessler will play mandolin, sing folk songs in fundraiser

(Newser) - A musician makes her solo debut in a Lincoln Center concert next week, but it's a safe bet you've never heard of her. As Vulture explains, the musician is 97-year-old Emily Kessler, a Holocaust survivor who now lives in New York City. Kessler usually plays in front of... More »

World's Oldest Holocaust Survivor Dies at 110

Pianist featured in Oscar-nominated documentary

(Newser) - The world's oldest Holocaust survivor, a pianist who gained international recognition in the 1930s, has died in London at age 110. Alice Herz-Sommer, the subject of Oscar-nominated documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, was born in Prague, where her music earned her fame as a... More »

Holocaust Survivor Finds Soldier Who Helped Save Her

Some 68 years after the Mauthausen camp was liberated

(Newser) - On May 5, 1945, US soldiers liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, ending a nightmare that began for Marsha Kreuzman nearly six years before. Kreuzman and her family were forced into the Krakow ghetto in 1939, when she was in her teens; the next year, her mother was taken... More »

69 Years Later, Holocaust Survivor Reunites With Savior

Czeslaw Polziec's family hid Leon Gersten's family during WWII

(Newser) - An interpreter broke down crying yesterday when he relayed a message from a Holocaust survivor to the Polish man whose family hid him in their attic during World War II—a man he had not seen for almost 70 years. "We never forgot the fact that you and your... More »

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