Holocaust survivor Edward Mosberg passed away Wednesday, surrounded by his loving family in New Jersey at the age of 96. He became one of the biggest supporters of the March of the Living and was the honorary President of the From The Depths Foundation. Mosberg devoted the last years of his life to Holocaust education. Almost all of his family were murdered during the war, including his parents, sisters and more.
“The world has lost a giant, a true leader, never afraid to speak his mind and tell the truth, he survived true hell and through that was able to build the most loving family and has left a legacy that will continue. The lessons he taught me and the example he showed me will stay with me forever, Baruch Dayan HaEmet, I will miss him deeply,” said Jonny Daniels founder of From The Depths.
“The world has lost a giant, a true leader, never afraid to speak his mind and tell the truth, he survived true hell and through that was able to build the most loving family and has left a legacy that will continue."Jonny Daniels
Mosberg spoke at the last March of the Living event in Poland just a few months ago. He urged the world not to compare the war in Ukraine to the Holocaust, "The holocaust was completely different," he said emotionally. "I feel sorry for those people... but never compare this [war] to the Holocaust."
Mosberg was born on January 6, 1926, in Kraków, Poland. He had two sisters, Halina and Karolina. His parents, Bronislawa and Ludwig, owned a department store; they prayed in the Popper synagogue. According to a testimony he gave to USC Shoah Foundation, a little more than a year after World War II broke out in 1939, a ghetto was established in Kraków. Ed’s immediate family, grandparents and aunt settled in one apartment there.
According to the testimony, Mosberg brought them food and provided much-needed employee IDs and other papers. In 1943, the Kraków ghetto was liquidated and the Mosberg family was moved to the Plaszów camp on the outskirts of Krakow. As an office worker in the camp, Mosberg said that he witnessed "many atrocities," committed by an infamous camp commander named Amon Goeth, who would later be tried, convicted and hanged as a war criminal.
The following year, Mosberg's mother and sister were taken to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland. He was deported a few days later, first to Auschwitz and then to Mauthausen, a concentration camp in Austria, where he performed slave labor. After liberation, he briefly returned to Poland, but was met with fierce antisemitism and moved to Belgium, where he married a woman named Cecile. The couple immigrated to the United States and had three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren as of Mosberg's USC Shoah Foundation interview in 2016.
Mosberg became a successful real-estate developer in New Jersey and remained active in Holocaust commemoration, working with International March of the Living and appearing in two documentary films. His interview was conducted by USC Shoah Foundation Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Stephen Smith.
As published in The Jerusalem Post in 2019, Polish President Andrzej Duda awarded Mosberg with the Order of Merit, his country’s highest civilian distinction. The award was given to Mosberg at the recommendation of From the Depths organization. The medal was awarded in Krakow, the philanthropist and educator’s birthplace.
"Returning to the city where he was born to receive such a decoration is an amazingly moving event for me,” Mosberg said. “I accept this award on behalf of myself, my wife, my children and grandchildren, and most importantly, in honor of my mother, father, siblings and six million Jews, brutally murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust,” he continued.
“It is important that those who come after us are our witnesses and be sure that the tragedy of the Holocaust will never be forgotten.” Mosberg added that he was also “dedicating the distinction to those who gave away and risked their lives to save Jews during the war, like the Ulma family from Markowa, and hoping for better relations between the Jewish and Polish people.”