Saturday, March 08, 2008

English Auschwitz survivor dies

The only Englishman known to have survived the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz has died, aged 97.

Leon Greenman was living in Holland with his Dutch wife Esther, and their son, when they were rounded up in 1943 and sent to the death camp in Poland.

His wife and three-year-old son Barney died there but London-born Mr Greenman survived six different death camps.

After Buchenwald was liberated in 1945, he dedicated the rest of his life to telling the story of the Holocaust.

Mr Greenman later said he had promised God if he lived, he would let the world know what happened during the war.

Services against racism
His first public speech took place in 1946 and in 1995 a permanent gallery telling his story was established at the Jewish Museum in north London.

Three years later, he received an OBE for services against racism.

Mr Greenman never remarried and spent his final years in Ilford, east London.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Tim Franks, who interviewed Mr Greenman in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, said he literally lived behind bars there - with bars on the windows and his letterbox sealed - as he had been targeted by neo-Nazis.

But this did not stop him from doing his work or dim his determination, our correspondent said.

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