Virus victim named as Holocaust survivor, 96, who met the pope

The Yad Vashem museum identifies a coronavirus victim as Holocaust survivor Eliezer (Lolek) Grynfeld, 96.

The Polish-born Grynfeld died last week, it says, and is survived by his wife, two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“During the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto in August, 1944, Eliezer worked in forced labor and, along with his mother, were deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Upon arrival, he was separated from his mother, who was sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Eliezer was later taken on a death march and along with other inmates escaped before joining up with Soviet forces and helping as a translator,” says Yad Vashem.

“After the war, Eliezer returned to Lodz, where he was reunited with his mother. He decided to immigrate to Israel, but was stopped in Germany by the Allies who put him in a Displaced Persons camp where he met his wife Rachel. Eliezer fell ill in the DP camp and his mother came and took him with her to Poland, with Rachel joining him a year later. He eventually immigrated to Israel, in 1956, with his wife Rachel, and worked in the military industry.”

During Pope Francis’s 2014 visit, Grynfeld was among the six survivors who greeted the pontiff at Yad Vashem.

Pope Francis kisses the hand of a Jewish man at the Hall of Remembrance during his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, May 26, 2014. (AP /L’Osservatore Romano)

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