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Kurt Julius Goldstein, 93; Holocaust survivor promoted tolerance

September 26, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Kurt Julius Goldstein, 93, who survived the Auschwitz death camp and went on to play a prominent role in fighting racism and anti-Semitism, died in Berlin on Monday following a brief illness, the International Auschwitz Committee announced.

Born into a Jewish merchant family in 1914, Goldstein later joined Germany's Communist Party and was forced out of the country when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He fled to Palestine, then went to fight in an international brigade in the Spanish Civil War. When that war ended in 1939, Goldstein was arrested. He was later handed over to the Nazis, who sent him to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland and in 1945 to the Buchenwald concentration camp in central Germany.

After World War II, Goldstein settled in communist East Germany, where he worked until 1978 as the director of a leading public broadcaster. During those years he also worked for the International Auschwitz Committee, maintaining contact with survivors on both sides of the Iron Curtain and reaching out to young people.

In 2005, Goldstein was awarded Germany's highest honor, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, in recognition of his role in promoting tolerance and fighting racism and anti-Semitism

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