96yo Holocaust Survivor Who Met Pope Dies Of COVID-19

Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash

This 96-year-old Holocaust survivor who managed to escape from a concentration camp death march has been named as a victim of the coronavirus.

Polish-born Eliezer Grynfeld, 96, died in Israel after contracting COVID-19, the Yad Vashem museum which specialises in Holocaust remembrance confirmed.

The museum said in a statement that Grynfeld had worked in forced labour before he was taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during the “liquidation” of the Lodz Ghetto, in the Polish city of Lodz, by the Nazi forces in August 1944.

He was reportedly separated from his mother after arriving at the camp and she was sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp.

Grynfeld was reportedly taken on a death march, where prisoners were forced to move from concentration camps near the eastern front to camps inside Germany to remove evidence of crimes against humanity. Those who lagged behind or fell were shot.

Grynfeld managed to escape the March and joined up with Soviet forces who he helped by working as a translator.

Grynfeld returned to Lodz after the war and was reunited with his mother. He then decided to immigrate to Israel, but “was stopped in Germany by the Allies who put him in a Displaced Persons camp where he met his wife Rachel,” according to the Yad Vashem museum.

He reportedly became ill in the camp and his mother then took him back to Poland where he was joined by Rachel a year later. Grynfeld moved to Israel in 1956 with his wife and worked in the military industry.

Grynfeld, who leaves behind his wife, two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, reportedly met Pope Francis in 2014 along with five other Holocaust survivor when the pontiff visited Israel.

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Israel has suffered 13,491 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 172 deaths.

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