Ernst Verduin, one of the last Dutch Auschwitz survivors, has died at the age of 94, the NL Times reported.
Born in Amsterdam in 1927, Verduin grew up in Bussum. In 1943, Verduin, his parents and his sister were sent to the Camp Vught concentration camp.
He was later transferred to Auschwitz along with his sister. Once at the death camp, Verduin and his sister were separated. He never saw her again.
Verduin escaped the gas chambers by hiding in a line for forced labor. Though he became very sick several times, he survived Auschwitz.
As the Soviet army approached Auschwitz in January 1945, Verduin was among the 60,000 prisoners who were forced on a lengthy death march, during which thousands died. Ending up in Buchenwald, he survived by convincing guards that he was not Jewish.
In August 1945, Verduin was reunited with his mother, the only other family member who survived.
Verduin published his autobiography, “Over Leven,” that told his story of survival. He also lectured about his life and spoke to young people about his experience in the Holocaust.
In 2020, he was one of a group of Auschwitz survivors who read the names of Nazi victims during the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
“Camp Vught National Memorial announced the sad news that Ernst Verduin (94) has passed away,” Ronny Naftaniel, chairman of the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands (CJO), said in a statement. “A survivor of Auschwitz, he worked tirelessly for a better world. He gave lessons and wrote about how deep humanity can sink. May his memory be a blessing.”