Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor dies at 106

The oldest Austrian Holocaust survivor,

who lived through four concentration camps, has died at the age of 106,

Vienna's Jewish Community organisation (IKG) said Friday.

Marko Feingold, who survived Auschwitz, in Nazi occupied Poland and three

German concentration camps, died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday after a

lung infection, Austrian news agency APA reported.

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had remained active in speaking out

against the Holocaust, taking part in numerous conferences and events for

schoolchildren.

I must have spoken to around half a million people all in all, he told

AFP in a 2018 interview, adding he swore to himself in Auschwitz 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)