Dutchman helped release prisoners from Nazi concentration camps famous as soldiers of the Soviet Red Army in World War II. The chairman of the local Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, called Dushman a “hero of Auschwitz” and said in a statement he had saved his life. “Countless people”
“Every contemporary witness who has died is a loss. But David Dushman’s departure was especially painful,” she said. “He was one of the last people who could tell from his own experience.”
About 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
“We didn’t know Auschwitz existed,” he said.
The Dutchman was just one of 69 men in his 12,000-man squad who survived the war. But he wasn’t injured. One of his lungs was dissected after he was seriously injured. Quote from Reuters
After his military career, Dushman became an international fencing and fencing coach. He was the Soviet Union’s best fencing player in 1951 and coached the Soviet women’s team from 1952 to 1988, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). His fencing has won 2 gold medals and 2 silver medals. Medal and three bronze medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
Thomas Bach, German president of the IOC and former fencer, knows Dushman personally, Bach said in a statement that he “Deeply saddened” by the news of Dushman’s death.
“When we met in 1970, he immediately offered me friendship and advice. Although Mr. Dutchman had personal experience with World War II and Auschwitz. and he was a man from the Jews. This is a profound gesture of humanity that I will never forget it,” Buck said.
Additional reporting by Reuters