January 17, 2022

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Last witness dies from Auschwitz – VG

Event Life: David Tushman, a Russian Jew, served in tanks and participated in many famous battles, and participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. Photo: Steen Eisentreger, VG

David Tushman, a 21-year-old Red Tank commander, was involved in the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. On Sunday, he died at the age of 98.


– Bom-bom-bom, Ra-da-da! Four years later my ears are completely broken, so you have to talk to me out loud!

David Tushman began an interview with VG’s journalist Stian Eisentreger six years ago, when he was 91 years old.

“He has no complaints about a bear-like handshake, a steady gait and a memory. One should never think that one has experienced life so dramatically. In 2015, Eisentreger describes an unforgettable meeting with David Dashman.

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In Auschwitz the barbed wire fence was lowered down with a tank

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David Tushman photographed with his mother Bronislava in Moscow in 1946. Photo: Private / AKG Images

On January 27, 1945, David Tushman, 21, used a tank to push down the electric fence of the concentration camp so that the prisoners could escape.

About 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz, most of them Jews. A total of 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Then only the eyes

– When we arrived, we saw the fence and the poor people. We went through the fence with our tanks. We continued to feed the prisoners. Everyone in prison uniform stood there. Eyes only, eyes only, very narrow – he told the news agency that it was absolutely awful, absolutely awful Reuters Last year.

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Tushman said he was unaware of Auschwitz’s presence during the war and only learned of the atrocities that took place there in the years that followed. He was one of 69 out of 12,000 in the division.

Allied: The Russian Red Army, along with other allies, occupied Nazi Germany’s infamous concentration camp in 1945. Photo: Archive image

Affects the industry

Despite serious injuries during the war, Tushman later became the Soviet Union’s best fencer and later the world’s best fencing coach, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

She coached Soviet women fencers for more than 30 years and witnessed a terrorist attack on Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Tushman’s friend, IOC President Thomas Bach, who was a fencer, praises him.

“When we met in 1970, despite Tushman’s personal experiences with World War II and Auschwitz, he immediately gave me friendship and advice, and he was of Jewish descent,” said Bach, a German national.

– It was a deep human gesture that I will never forget in my life.

Last man: David Tushman enlisted in Stalin’s army during the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Here in 2015 during a memorial service in Berlin. Photo: Marcus Schreiber / AP