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David Dushman, final surviving liberator of Auschwitz, dies at 98

Dushman helped free prisoners from the infamous Nazi focus camp as a soldier for the Soviet Pink Military in World Warfare II. The president of the native Jewish neighborhood, Charlotte Knobloch, known as Dushman the “Hero of Auschwitz” and mentioned in an announcement that he saved “numerous lives.”

“Each modern witness who passes away is a loss, however the farewell of David Dushman is especially painful,” she mentioned. “He was one of many final who might inform about this occasion from his personal expertise.”

Auschwitz-Birkenau, situated in Nazi-occupied Poland, was the biggest focus camp run by Hitler’s regime. Greater than 1.1 million males, girls and kids had been systematically murdered there, many within the camp’s fuel chambers.

Some 6 million Jews had been killed within the Holocaust.

In an interview in his condominium in Munich final 12 months, Dushman advised Reuters that his unit used tanks to bash by means of the power’s fences.

“We had not recognized that Auschwitz existed,” he mentioned.

Dushman was simply one in every of simply 69 males in his 12,000-person unit to outlive the struggle, however he didn’t go away unscathed. Considered one of his lungs was eliminated after he was significantly wounded, in response to Reuters.

Following his army profession, Dushman went on to turn out to be a global fencer and fencing coach. He was the us’s finest fencer in 1951 and coached the Soviet girls’s crew from 1952 to 1988, in response to the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC). His fencers received two gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals on the 1972 Summer season Olympic Video games in Munich.

Thomas Bach, the German president of the IOC and a former fencer, knew Dushman personally. Bach mentioned in an announcement that he was “deeply saddened” by the information of Dushman’s loss of life.

“After we met in 1970, he instantly supplied me friendship and counsel, regardless of Mr. Dushman’s private expertise with World Warfare II and Auschwitz, and he being a person of Jewish origin. This was such a deep human gesture that I’ll by no means ever overlook it,” Bach mentioned.

Extra reporting by Reuters.

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