Chaim Ferster who endured the horrors of eight concentration camps, has died at the age of 94
Chaim Ferster was 20 when he was captured by the Nazis in Poland and suffered a brutal and terrifying existence in death camps like Auschwitz.
He witnessed mass executions and lost 30 of his own relatives including his parents and two sisters.
In one camp, he recalled: “There were bodies lying on pallets, six one way, six the other way. There were many many pallets with bodies, very, very high.”
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Mr Ferster was eventually liberated by the Americans and he and his younger sister, Manya, now 92, came to England in 1946.
His greatest fear was that people would forget the horrors of the Holocaust
Stuart – Son
He started a new life in Manchester, where he had a successful career in machine manufacturing, but it was not until his late 70s that he was finally able to share his harrowing experiences of living in the camps.
He later dedicated himself to educating others about the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by the Nazis and in 2015, he was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to Holocaust education.
Chaim Ferster was 20 when he was captured by the Nazis in Poland
Mr Ferster, a great, great grandfather died from pneumonia and a kidney infection on Monday night. His three sons were at his hospital bedside.
Hundreds packed his funeral at Agecroft Jewish Cemetery today.
His youngest son Stuart, 61 said: “His greatest fear was that people would forget the horrors of the Holocaust.
“That is why he spent so much time giving lectures in schools and colleges. We are so proud of him and the work he did.”
Local Rabbi Arnold Saunders said Mr Ferster “had nine lives and was an inspiration”.
Relative Hannah Salomon said the family now hopes to create a lasting tribute to him.
Mr Ferster was eventually liberated by the Americans and he came to England in 1946 Shocking photographs depict the horrors of the Holocaust Fri, January 27, 2017
Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 marks the liberation of Auschwitz and remembers the Jewish people killed in World War II, as well as the victims and survivors of other genocides.
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The infamous German inscription reads 'Work Makes Free' at the main gate of the Auschwitz I extermination camp.
It was not until his early 90s that Mr Ferster, an accomplished musician, picked up a violin again for the first time.
He had not played for decades because the instrument triggered traumatic memories of a time he was not able to play it in the death camps.
But he chose Holocaust Memorial Day – January 27- to play to an enraptured audience at Manchester Grammar School.
At the time he said: “It is so important for me to speak about the Holocaust because it must not be forgotten. Six million Jews perished and it must never be forgotten.”
Mr Ferster dedicated himself to sharing his story of pain and loss with the next generation
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Chaim Ferster survived the worst horrors known to man, losing almost his entire family.
“In his later years, he dedicated himself to sharing his story of pain and loss with the next generation.
“He reminds us that eyewitnesses to the Holocaust will not be with us forever and that it is up to all of us to keep their legacies alive.”
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