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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


On the death of Agnes Heller: we will miss her critical, illuminating mind, especially in these times

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Holocaust survivors in Hungary and many other countries are bidding farewell with sorrow and gratitude to their great companion and fellow sufferer, who died yesterday aged 90 years. Agnes Heller experienced the horrors of the Holocaust from both the German and the Hungarian sides. As one of only a few from her family, she managed to escape the deportations and the gas chambers of Auschwitz together with her mother. All of her philosophical work stems from the incisiveness and clarity of these memories. Into her old age, this worldwide respected philosopher was repeatedly subjected to anti-Semitic defamations: she was even attacked at university as ‘not belonging’ because of her Jewish roots.

On the occasion of her death, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, paid tribute in Berlin:

“None of the defamations were able to shake Agnes Heller. Her view of the world was always realistic, but at the same time filled with utopian hope. The populatist diatribes by the likes of Orban, angered and outraged her, but the thought of remaining silent was never an option for her. She analysed hatred with a precision and clarity that emanated from her own memories of emerging fascism in Europe. She warned against this hatred and against complacency towards this hatred. We will miss Agnes Heller, her empathy and her critical, illuminating mind, especially in these times. We are very grateful to her.”


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81