A 96-year-old Holocaust survivor who escaped a Nazi death march — and lived on to meet Pope Francis — died of the coronavirus, according to a new report.
Eliezer (Lolek) Grynfeld died last week, according to The Times of Israel, citing the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center.
Grynfeld, born in Lodz, Poland in 1923, died last week and is survived by his wife Rachel, two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, according to the report.
In 1940, Grynfeld, along with his mother and grandparents, were forced to move into the Lodz Ghetto, according to the remembrance center. Both of his grandparents died and were buried there.
When the ghetto closed in 1944, Eliezer was taken with his mother to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the center said. He was then separated from his mother, who was sent to another camp.
“Eliezer was later taken on a death march and along with other inmates escaped before joining up with Soviet forces and helping as a translator,” the center said.
After the war, Grynfeld returned to Lodz, where he was reunited with his mother. He decided to immigrate to Israel, but was stopped in Germany by the Allies who put him in a displaced persons camp, where he and Rachel first met.
Eliezer fell ill in the camp, and his mother came and brought him back to Poland, the center said. Rachel joined him a year later.
In 1956, he and Rachel immigrated to Israel, where he worked in the military industry.
Grynfeld was among the six Holocaust survivors who greeted Pope Francis during a May 2014 visit to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.