Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kurt Goldstein

Kurt Julius Goldstein (1914 – 2007) was a German journalist and a former broadcast director.
Goldstein was born to a Jewish merchant family in Dortmund, Germany. At school, he experienced Germany's growing anti-Semitism and it had the effect of politicising him. In 1928, he joined the Young Communist League and two years later, the Communist Party of Germany, then headed by Ernst Thälmann. When the Nazis took power in 1933, Goldstein fled. He first lived in Luxembourg, working as a gardener, then moved to France. In 1935, he went to Palestine.
A year later, the Spanish Civil War erupted and many German Communists volunteered to fight. Goldstein soon joined them. When the Second Spanish Republic collapsed in early 1939, Goldstein escaped across the border into France. As return to Germany was impossible, he was interned and held in Camp Vernet.

Goldstein was deported to Germany by the Vichy French authorities. On arrival, he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he worked in the coal pits for 30 months. Goldstein survived the death march from Auschwitz to Buchenwald. When Buchenwald was partly evacuated by the Nazis on 8 April 1945, Communist inmates stormed the watchtowers, killed the remaining guards and took control. The camp was formally liberated by American troops on 11 April 1945. Goldstein returned to East Germany after the war, working as a journalist, radio broadcaster and author.

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