Holocaust survivor, activist Kurt Julius Goldstein dies at 93

Kurt Julius Goldstein, who survived the Auschwitz death camp and went on to play a prominent role in fighting racism and anti-Semitism, has died, the International Auschwitz Committee said Tuesday. He was 93. Goldstein died in Berlin on Monday following a brief illness, the committee, of which he was an honorary chairman, said in a statement. It did not elaborate. 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 and later handed to the Nazis, who sent him to Auschwitz. 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.