Auschwitz hero

A tribute to the Jewish combat commander who liberated the Nazi death camp.

By MARTIN SIEFF
January 24, 2018 17:10
Red Army Lt.-Col. Anatoly Shapiro

Red Army Lt.-Col. Anatoly Shapiro. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

When retired Red Army Lt.-Col. Anatoly Shapiro died in 2006 at the age of 92, he was rich in honors as well as years. The governments of the Soviet Union, Russia, Poland and Ukraine had all awarded him some of their highest decorations for valor; and he was well-known and respected by international gatherings of Shoah survivors.

Yet in the 11 years since his death, Shapiro’s name has been scandalously forgotten by the public at large in Israel, the United States and throughout the Western world. Nor during his lifetime did he ever gain in Israel and the West the renown of thousands of far lesser figures. Shapiro was the Red Army officer who commanded the liberation of Auschwitz – and he was a Ukrainian Jew.

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