Distinguished Austrian Holocaust survivor Rudolf Gelbard dies

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BERLIN – Rudolf Gelbard, a prominent Austrian journalist and Holocaust survivor, has died. He was 87.

Vienna’s Jewish community said Wednesday that Gelbard died overnight after a long illness. President Alexander Van der Bellen said that “Austria has lost an important witness of the Shoah, a vigilant warning voice against anti-Semitism and a committed fighter for democracy.”

Gelbard and his Jewish parents were deported when he was 11 to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia, where they – unlike many relatives – survived until its May 1945 liberation.

After the war, Gelbard spoke in schools, universities and elsewhere about his experiences during the Holocaust.

He worked for the Kurier daily newspaper from 1975 to 1990 and was a leading member of the Federation of Social Democratic Freedom Fighters, an anti-fascist group.

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