David Dushman, who is the last surviving Auschwitz liberator, has passed away at the age of 98 years old. The Red Army soldier took part in the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in 1945.
Dushman helped set prisoners in the death camp free after mowing down the electric fence at Auschwitz using a T-34 tank on the 27th of January 1945. During an interview back in 2015, Dushman stated that he saw skeletons everywhere upon liberation while adding, “We hardly knew anything about Auschwitz,”.
“They staggered out of the barracks, sat and lay among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all our canned food and immediately went on to hunt down the fascists”.
He stated that it was only after the war when he realised the scale of the atrocities that occurred in the death camp.
As well as being a Red Army soldier, Dushman was an international fencer who went on to become a top fencer in the Soviet Union and would eventually become one of the world’s greatest fencing coaches, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Dushman was still going to his fencing club on a daily basis until four years ago. IOC chief Thomas Bach, who was deeply saddened by the news stated, “When we met in 1970, he immediately offered me friendship and counsel, despite Mr Dushman’s personal experience with World War II and Auschwitz, and he being a man of Jewish origin,”.