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Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor dies aged 106

Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor, who survived Auschwitz and three other concentration camps, dies aged 106 – 79 years after Nazi guard told him ‘You have three months to live’

  • Marko Feingold died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday from a lung infection
  • He was arrested and deported to Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1940  
  • Feingold had spoken out against the Holocaust to ‘millions of people’

The oldest Austrian Holocaust survivor, who lived through four concentration camps, has died at the age of 106.

Marko Feingold, who survived Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland before he was sent to three other German concentration camps, died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday from a lung infection, Austrian news agency APA reported.  

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had spoken out against the Holocaust to ‘millions of people’ after he vowed to himself in the camps that he would tell his story.

Born on May 28, 1913, in the Austro-Hungarian empire in what is now Slovakia, Feingold was arrested in Prague and deported to Auschwitz in 1940 where a Nazi guard told him he had ‘three months to live’. 

Marko Feingold, who survived Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland before being sent to three German concentration camps, died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday from a lung infection

‘They said I had three months to live. And in fact after two and a half months I was about to succumb to exhaustion when I managed to get transferred to the Neuengamme camp,’ he told AFP.

From there, Feingold – or inmate 11,996 – was taken to Dachau and then on to Buchenwald, where he survived as a construction worker.

Having lost his father and siblings in the camps, he was freed from Buchenwald when it was liberated by American forces in May 1945.

But he could not go back to Vienna as his group of survivors was prevented from travelling through the Soviet occupation zone which surrounded the city.

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had spoken out against the Holocaust to 'millions of people' after he vowed to himself in the camps that he would tell his story

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had spoken out against the Holocaust to ‘millions of people’ after he vowed to himself in the camps that he would tell his story

‘A Russian soldier told us that they had orders not to let us pass. The new (social democratic) chancellor Karl Renner had said: ‘We won’t take back the Jews’,’ Feingold said.

Feingold then decided to go to Salzburg in Austria near the German border, which was in the American occupation zone. There he founded a network which helped 100,000 Jews to emigrate to Britain-administered Palestine.

He himself refused to leave Austria despite the difficulties in the face of the country’s deep-rooted anti-Semitism.

Born on May 28, 1913, in the Austro-Hungarian empire in what is now Slovakia, Feingold was arrested in Prague and deported to Auschwitz in 1940

Born on May 28, 1913, in the Austro-Hungarian empire in what is now Slovakia, Feingold was arrested in Prague and deported to Auschwitz in 1940

After the war Austria took refuge in an official narrative which portrayed the country as a ‘victim’ of the Third Reich and avoided the process of debating complicity in Nazi crimes, as happened in Germany, until well into the 1990s.

‘It was impossible to find a job. Someone coming back from the camps had to be a criminal. So I had to strike out on my own,’ he said.

He started a clothes shop in Salzburg, which quickly became successful.

Feingold says once attitudes changed, he was ‘literally covered in honours’, including being received last year by then chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his then deputy Heinz-Christian Strache from the far-right.     

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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