The last soldier who took part in the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, established by the Nazi regime in World War II, died on Saturday in the German city of Munich at the age of 98, a local newspaper reported today.
On January 27, 1945, David Duchman, a Soviet soldier of Jewish origin, removed the electrified fence surrounding the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland by order of a T-34 tank, considered the worst extermination camp established by the state. Nazi regime.
“Every witness who leaves us is a loss, but David Duchmann’s farewell is especially painful,” Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Israeli religious community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, told the Abendzeitung newspaper.
“We have lost a brave, honest and loyal man,” he added.
On that day in 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau. About 7,000 prisoners, including more than 600 children and youth, were alive at the time of their release. More than a million people were killed there.
In the same statements, Charlotte Knobloch noted that Private Duchmann “was on the front line when the killing machine of the National Socialists was crushed in 1945.”
As the “hero of Auschwitz,” David Duchmann was part of the concentration camp’s liberating forces, “saving countless lives” and is currently “one of the last” who can speak about the event based on his own experience, according to an agent.
David Duchmann recently celebrated his 98th birthday and was at that time an honorary member of the Israeli religious community in Munich and Upper Bavaria.
The former soldier and his family were targets of exclusion, marginalization and defamation in the former Soviet Union because of their Jewish origins.
David’s father, a physician, was a victim of the Soviet regime’s purges under Stalin and died in a forced labor camp north of the Arctic Circle.
David Duchman, whose bravery was marked by dozens of medals and honors, began a new life after the world struggle and coached the USSR women’s national fencing team for nearly 40 years, between 1952 and 1988, making up the elite athletes.
As a mukhtar, the ex-soldier witnessed, in 1972, during the Olympic Games in Munich, the kidnapping of 11 Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terrorist leadership, which would mark the killing of 17 people.
For the past 25 years David Duchmann has lived in the German city of Munich, where he was a frequent presence in educational activities carried out in schools around World War II (1939-1945).