Scottish students get a lesson in Shoah survival

Manfred Goldberg shares his testimony with 450 Edinburgh University Jewish Society members and guests


Lord Provost Robert Aldridge was among an audience of 450 Edinburgh University Jewish Society members and guests who heard the testimony of survivor Manfred Goldberg at an event organised in conjunction with Aish UK.

Mr Goldberg was born in Germany in 1930. His father managed to flee to Britain in August 1939, just days before war broke out. But the rest of the family were unable to join him. In 1941, he, his mother and younger brother were sent to the Riga Ghetto, and latterly to the Stutthof camp near Danzig in 1944, where he spent eight months as a slave worker. He was liberated in in May 1945.

It had been an emotional day for Mr Goldberg, having heard the news of the death of fellow survivor and lifelong friend Zigi Shipper.

He recounted how he had saved Mr Shipper’s life on a death march from the Stutthof camp in April 1945. The pair returned to Stutthof in 2017, accompanying the Prince and Princess of Wales on their historic visit.

Mr Goldberg said that “Zigi was a larger than life and effusive personality. It felt highly appropriate to share our joint story with the younger generation — an activity to which we both committed ourselves in later years. I shall miss him greatly.”

After the talk, the Jewish society invited attendees to a falafel dinner in celebration of the remarkable story of survivor David “Dugo” Leitner.

On a death march from Auschwitz, he was sustained by the memory of the food his mother made him when he was a child.

When he first saw falafel after arriving in Israel, Mr Leitner recalled how he had motivated himself during the death march and proceeded to eat two portions of falafel, proclaiming: “Am Yisrael Chai — May the People of Israel Live On”.

He now marks the anniversary of the start of the death march by consuming two servings of falafel as a tribute to his survival and a statement that he will never go hungry again.

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