Survivor who escaped Auschwitz passes away

Herman Shine, believed to be one of the last survivors to have escaped Auschwitz, dies at 96.

Arutz Sheva Staff and JTA ,

Memorial candle
Memorial candle

Herman Shine, who is believed to be one of the last survivors to have escaped Auschwitz, has died, JTA reported on Tuesday.

Shine, who worked as a roofer at the Nazi death camp before making a daring escape with his good friend Max Drimmer, reportedly died on June 23 at the age of 96.

Fewer than 200 prisoners escaped from Auschwitz.

Shine, born Mendel Scheingesicht in Berlin, was arrested in that city in 1939 and then deported with 1,700 other Polish Jews to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Shine’s father was Polish.

He claimed to be a roofer in order to survive the camp and actually learned how to build roofs. In 1942, Shine was transferred to Auschwitz, where he continued to work as a roofer.

While working at an Auschwitz satellite forced labor camp in the town of Gleiwitz, he met a Jewish girl who worked in the camp and was able to return to her home at night. The girl, Marianne, would later became his wife.

Drimmer came to Shine with an Auschwitz escape plan and, with the help of a Polish partisan, they managed to break out of Auschwitz and hide on his farm for three months. Marianne’s family would hide the two men during the final weeks of the war.

Shine and Drimmer and their wives immigrated to the United States, settling in San Francisco. Shine founded the Standard Roofing Company in 1956 and was a successful businessman until his retirement in 1979. Drimmer, who worked as a plumber and a baker, died in 2012.

Shine and his wife devoted time to Holocaust education and told their stories to groups throughout the Bay Area.

In December, Kazimierz Piechowski who was known for his spectacular escape from Auschwitz, passed away at the age of 98.

In June 1940, Piechowski and other Polish political prisoners were taken by convoy to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Two years later, he and two fellow prisoners managed their escape by stealing weapons, uniforms and a vehicle belonging to their SS guards, according to the report.

In November, Benjamin Scheinkopf, a Poland-born Jew who had survived the Holocaust by cutting hair, passed away at 98.

Scheinkopf was assigned to cut other inmates’ hair at Auschwitz along with his brother. Being a barber meant Scheinkopf was not beaten by the Germans as other prisoners were.