The oldest Austrian Holocaust survivor, who lived through four concentration camps, has died at the age of 106, Vienna’s Jewish Community organization (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 traveling 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 honors”, including being received last year by then chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his then deputy Heinz-Christian Strache from the far-right.
© 2019 AFP
WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear
Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.
In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.
Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.
Watch some of the video clips below.
Outside the White House right now:
Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power
In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..
As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.
Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."
Veteran journalist Sam Donaldson: Trump’s rabid followers will never get their ‘white Christian country’ back
Veteran White House reporter Sam Donaldson insisted on Sunday that President Donald Trump's supporters do not represent the diversity of the United States.
"His strong supporters -- I mean, lock her up, I mean, all the things he says, all the vicious, mean things he says, they love it," Donaldson told CNN host Brian Stelter. "They’re good Americans otherwise. They’ll probably give you the shirt off their back, they’ll help you if you need it, but they have this fixation."
"They want to return this country to the white Christian country that they believe it should be again," he continued. "They don’t want the diversity, and they follow him for this, but they’re not the country. We are a diverse people, we are good and strong because of that.