Sunday, 13 Jun 2021

Last surviving soldier involved in liberation of Auschwitz dies

Last surviving Allied soldier involved in the liberation of Auschwitz dies at 98: He flattened the fence around the notorious camp with his tank in 1945

  • David Dushman died at 98 in Munich, the Jewish Community of Munich said
  • He died as the last surviving soldier involved in the Auschwitz liberation
  • Dushman flattened the fence around the Nazi death camp with his tank
  • Later in life, he visited schools to tell students about the horrors of the Holocaust

David Dushman, pictured last January, was the last surviving Allied soldier involved in the liberation of Auschwitz

David Dushman, the last surviving Allied soldier involved in the liberation of Auschwitz, has died aged 98.

The Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria said on Sunday that Dushman had died at a Munich hospital on Saturday.

As a young Red Army soldier, Dushman flattened the forbidding fence around the notorious Nazi death camp in Poland with his tank on January 27, 1945.

After the war he helped train the Soviet Union’s women’s national fencing team and survived the attack on the Munich Olympics.

Later in life, Dushman visited schools to tell students about the war and the horrors of the Holocaust.

‘Every witness to history who passes on is a loss, but saying farewell to David Dushman is particularly painful,’ said Charlotte Knobloch, a former head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews.

Dushman in 2015 attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Russian War Memorial in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, Germany

He became emotional during the ceremony – as he marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

Dushman mourned on a memorial in Berlin on a statue with a Russian tank. He helped to liberate Auschwitz by smashing a fence there with his tank as a Soviet Red Army soldier

Soviet Red Army soldiers of the First Ukrainian front with liberated prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland in 1945.

Survivors of Auschwitz leaving the camp at the end of World War II, Poland, February 1945. Above them is the German slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (‘Work makes one free’).

‘Dushman was right on the front lines when the National Socialists’ machinery of murder was destroyed.’

Along with other heroes of Auschwitz, Dushman has saved many lives, she said.

Details on funeral arrangements and survivors were not immediately known.

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