Greece’s oldest Holocaust survivor, Esther Cohen, dies at 96

Εsther Cohen, Greece’s oldest Holocaust survivor, has died of “old age,” a representative of the Jewish community in northwestern Ioannina where she lived said. She was 96 years old. May her memory be a blessing.

Esther Cohen was 20 when she and other Jews were rounded up in 1944 and sent to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, in occupied Poland.

It was at the Auschwitz gates that she last saw her parents and other family members.

Only 110 Jews survived the Holocaust among some 2,000 deported from the city, whose Jewish community dates to the ninth century under the Byzantine Empire.

In 2014, during a visit to Ioannina by Germany’s then president Joachim Gauck, he met Cohen at a public event, in tears as he kissed her and begged forgiveness for the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

The moment was captured in a photograph that appeared on newspapers’ front pages around the world.

“After our deaths, people should realize that Man should not be inhuman,” she told the German president.

Some six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.


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