/ 08 June 2021

Vale David Dushman

The man known as the ‘last liberator of Auschwitz’ has died in Germany aged 98yo, the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria announced yesterday. As part of the Soviet Union’s Red Army, David Dushman fought in key WWII battles, including Stalingrad and Kursk. Despite receiving serious injuries, he was among 69 soldiers in a 12,000-strong division to survive the war. But his role in liberating the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp is his biggest claim to fame. On 27 January 1945, he flattened the camp’s electric fence with his T-34 tank. After the war, he became a professional fencer and went on to train the Soviet Union’s women’s Olympics teams between 1952 and 1988. He continued coaching at his local fencing club every day until he was 94yo. Dushman’s passing is “particularly painful” because he was “one of the last who could tell about this event from his own experience,” said Charlotte Knobloch from the World Jewish Congress.

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