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Ida Grinspan has died

Ida Grinspan




The Auschwitz survivor Ida Grinspan passed away during the night of 24 September in Paris. She was 88 years old. The politician, Delphine Batho, published the ‘very sad news’ about the death ‘of her friend’ on Twitter, and paid tribute to her as an ‘outstandingly courageous personality and a lover of life’.

Ida Grinspan was 14 years old when she was deported to Auschwitz on 10 February 1944. Prior to this she had lived in seclusion with her French-Jewish parents, who originated from Poland. They were hoping to survive the persecution of the Nazis in the small village of Sompt in the Deux-Sèvres region, but they were arrested on the night of 30 January 1944 by members of the French police.

The parents and children were deported to Auschwitz on different transports. Ida survived the death march from Auschwitz to Ravensbrück and was liberated in Neustadt/Glewe, sick with typhoid fever. She was 17 when she returned to Paris, alone. It was not until 43 years after her liberation, in 1987, that she dared to revisit Auschwitz. Although deeply under shock, from this time on she became a tireless historical witness who, without any form of false pathos, gave accounts to generations of high school students about the horrors and the causes of Auschwitz.

Together with her friends from the Union des Déportés d‘Auschwitz and Raphaël Esrail, she had arranged her next meeting with school students at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris for 19 October. She leaves behind many young people who will never forget their meetings with her, as well as a book for posterity J’ai pas pleuré (I didn’t cry) which was published in Paris in 2002.

Auschwitz survivors throughout the world bow in deep respect for their wonderful friend and travelling companion.