David Dushman, who helped liberate Auschwitz, dies at 98

World

FILE – In this Friday, May 8, 2015 file photo, Soviet war veteran David Dushman, 92, center, speaks to people holding Ukrainian flags as he attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Russian War Memorial in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, Germany. Dushman, the last surviving Allied soldier involved in the liberation of Auschwitz, has died. The Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria said Sunday, June 6, 2021 that Dushman had died a day earlier in a Munich hospital at the age of 98. As young Red Army soldier, Dushman flattened the forbidding fence around the notorious Nazi death camp with his tank on Jan. 27, 1945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

BERLIN (AP) — David Dushman, the last surviving Allied soldier involved in the liberation of Auschwitz, has died. He was 98.

The Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria said Sunday that Dushman had died at a Munich hospital on Saturday.

As a young Red Army soldier, Dushman flattened the forbidding fence around the notorious Nazi death camp with his tank on Jan. 27, 1945.

After the war, he helped train the Soviet Union’s women’s national fencing team and survived the attack on the Munich Olympics. Later in life, Dushman visited schools to tell students about the war and the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Every witness to history who passes on is a loss, but saying farewell to David Dushman is particularly painful,” said Charlotte Knobloch, a former head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews. “Dushman was right on the front lines when the National Socialists’ machinery of murder was destroyed.”

Along with other heroes of Auschwitz, Dushman has saved many lives, she said.

Details on funeral arrangements and survivors weren’t immediately known.

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