Thursday, June 30, 2022

108-year-old concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor dies

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Italian-Slovenian writer and concentration camp survivor, Boris Pahor is dead.

He died at the age of 108.

The news of his death was confirmed by Slovenian President Borut Pahor (no relation) on Monday.

Pahor was one of the most important Slovenian-language authors and a literary witness of the 20th century.

His autobiographical and award-winning novel “Necropolis’’ describes the 15 months he spent in five German concentration camps and the struggle against death.

Other important works were “A Difficult Spring’’ and “A Villa by the Lake.’’

“He was an eyewitness, a witness, an admonisher,’’ the Slovenian president said.

He added that he was, the conscience of Slovenia, Europe and the world.

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“A man who demanded himself the freedom to think differently and demanded the same freedom for others.’’

Born on Aug. 26, 1913, in Trieste which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Pahor’s family belonged to the city’s Slovenian minority.

The existence of Slovenes in the then multi-cultural port city was as much a recurring theme of his prose as the prisoners’ struggle for survival in the German concentration camps and the period afterwards.

Pahor joined the communist-led Slovenian partisans during World War II.

He was captured by Slovenian collaborators in January 1944 and taken to the Dachau concentration camp by the German occupiers.

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He went on to survive stays in four subsequent camps Natzweiler-Struthof, Dora-Mittelbau, Harzungen and Bergen-Belsen.


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