Auschwitz escapee, 82, dies in Canada

Slovakian-born Rudolf Vrba was one of five Jews who escaped Auschwitz.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 1, 2006 11:37
1 minute read.
Auschwitz escapee, 82, dies in Canada

auschwitz 298.88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Rudolf Vrba, one of five Jews who escaped the Auschwitz death camp during World War II, died Monday in Vancouver, Canada at age 82, Toronto's Globe and Mail reported Friday. Vrba was born in Slovakia and was sent to the Majdanker extermination camp when he was 18. He was later transferred to Auschwitz and assigned the job of removing from freight trains the bodies of Jews who had not survived the journey. From Auschwitz, Vrba was transferred again to Birkenau, where he befriended Alfred Wetzler, a Hungarian Jewish leader. Wetzler and Vrba faced being tortured to death if they were caught in an attempt to escape; nevertheless, the two confounded guards by hiding for three days in a space inside a pile of lumber near Birkenau's perimeter fence. In order to keep the camp dogs away, Vrba and Wetzler used a mixture of tobacco and gasoline to disguise their scent. Once they were sure that the standard three-day search for prisoners who failed to appear for the evening head count was over, the friends made their way to the Sola River and eventually entered Slovakia. In spring 1944, Vrba and Wetzler provided the Allies with a description of the Nazi killing machine that later became known as the Auschwitz Protocols. Twenty years after the end of the war, Vrba emigrated to Canada. He became a professor and later professor emeritus of pharmacology at the University of British Columbia. Vrba is survived by his wife, Robin Vrba, his daughter Zuza, his grandchildren Hannah and Jan and nephews Stefan and Jan.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF