Auschwitz Survivor Leon Schwarzbaum Dies at 101 in Germany

Leon Schwarzbaum, a survivor of the Nazis' death camp at Auschwitz and a lifelong fighter for justice for the victims of the Holocaust, has died. He was 101.

Schwarzbaum died early Monday in Potsdam near Berlin, the International Auschwitz Committee reported on its website. No cause of death was given.

"It is with great sadness, respect and gratitude that Holocaust survivors around the world bid farewell to their friend, fellow sufferer and companion Leon Schwarzbaum, who in the last decades of his life became one of the most important contemporary witnesses of the Shoah," the committee said.

Schwarzbaum was the only one of his family to survive the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and a subcamp Sachsenhausen, the Auschwitz committee said.

Leon Schwarzbaum, a survivor of the Nazis' death camp at Auschwitz and a lifelong fighter for justice for the victims of the Holocaust, has died. He was 101.

Schwarzbaum died early Monday in Potsdam near Berlin, the International Auschwitz Committee reported on its website. No cause of death was given.

"It is with great sadness, respect and gratitude that Holocaust survivors around the world bid farewell to their friend, fellow sufferer and companion Leon Schwarzbaum, who in the last decades of his life became one of the most important contemporary witnesses of the Shoah," the committee said.

Schwarzbaum was the only one of his family to survive the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and a subcamp Sachsenhausen, the Auschwitz committee said.

In 2016, he gave testimony at the trial against former Auschwitz death guard Reinhold Hanning in Germany.

In an 2019 interview with the Associated Press at his Berlin apartment, which was covered with paintings and old back-and-white pictures of his 35 relatives who perished in the Holocaust, Schwarzbaum expressed deep worry about the reemergence of antisemitism across Europe.

"If things get worse, I would not want to live through such times again," he said. "I would immigrate to Israel right away."

In a letter of condolence to Schwarzbaum's widow, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that "we are losing a wonderful human being and an important eyewitness to history."

"Leon Schwarzbaum experienced himself what it means when a criminal regime suspends human rights and human dignity," Steinmeier said, praising him for testifying about "Germany's darkest period" after the war and warning about the dangers of far-right extremism and xenophobia.

Source: Voice of America