Mourn a life lost — but celebrate triumph over cruelty as well

After 97 years, a story of triumph came to an end last week.

Eva Fahidi-Pusztai survived deportation to and imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp. She lost 49 members of her family to the Holocaust and was the only one to survive. In 1945 she was escorted from the camp by Nazi guards on a death march west, as the Nazis were evading the approach of Soviet troops. She escaped during the death march and was liberated by American soldiers.

“Her life remained marked by the loss of her family, but nevertheless, with an infinitely big heart, she persisted in her joy of life and trusted in the power of memory,” Christoph Heubner, executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, told the Associated Press for an article in Wednesday’s Sun-Gazette reporting on her death.

Fahidi-Pusztai was an admirable figure, who rose above the cruelty and inhumanity of her neighbors to find joy in life. She set an example of triumph over adversity and of speaking out in memory of those lost to such adversities and cruelties so that we all may learn the most important lessons of history.

“Auschwitz survivors all over the world bid farewell to their fellow sufferer, friend and companion with deep sadness, gratitude and respect,” the committee said in announcing her passing on its website.

The world should join survivors in the depth of their sadness — but just as importantly, in the depth of their gratitude and respect. For Eva Fahidi-Pusztai deserved the world’s gratitude and respect.


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