Edward Mosberg, Shoah survivor, promoter of Polish-Jewish dialogue, dies at 96

Edward Mosberg, a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, an active promoter of Polish-Jewish dialogue died at the age of 96 on September 22.

The information about Mr Mosberg’s death was shared on social media by Poland’s Consul General in NYC, Adrian Kubicki.

Edward Mosberg was born on January 6, 1926, in Krakow. He was only 13 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. In 1941, he and his family became prisoners of the Płaszów concentration camp, and he was later transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria. Sixteen of his relatives, almost the entire family were killed in the Holocaust. In 1951 he left Poland for the United States together with his fiancee, where they lived in New York and then New Jersey.

Mr Mosberg was an active promoter of awareness about the Holocaust and of the Polish-Jewish dialogue, as well as a fierce defender of historical truth. He was always critical of media and political figures, including Israeli ones, who tried to capitalise on anti-Polish sentiments by promoting the false narrative of “Polish death camps” and the Polish nation’s complicity in the Holocaust.

“My day of Holocaust remembrance is every Monday, Tuesday, every Wednesday and Thursday. Every day of my life,” Mosberg said in 2018 during the annual March of the Living organised on the grounds of the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. “Germans murdered 6 million Jews and several million gentiles, who stood up to the Nazi party. [...] We should not forget, that there were no Polish death camps or Polish[-engineered] Holocaust.”

For his activism in “building a dialogue in the spirit of memory about the Holocaust” the From The Depths Foundation named the prize their award for saving Jews from the Holocaust after him.

In June 2019, Polish President Andrzej Duda awarded Edward Mosberg the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for “outstanding merit in developing the Polish-Jewish dialogue and promoting knowledge about the role of Poles in saving Jews.”

“To return to the city where I was born at the age of 93 and receive such an honour is incredibly moving for me,” said Mr Mosberg when he received the order. “I accept on my own behalf, and on behalf of my wife, my children, and grandchildren and most importantly to honour my mother, father, siblings, and 6 million Jews, brutally murdered by the German Nazis during the Holocaust. It is important that those who come after us serve as our witnesses, who will ensure that the memory of the Holocaust is never forgotten.”

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For Mr Mosberg maintaining the memory of the Holocaust also meant keeping the memory of those who helped hide Jewish people from the clutches of the German executions, especially those who paid with their lives for it.

“I also dedicate this honour to those, who gave up and risked their lives, to save Jews during the war, such as the Ulma family from Markowa, and I hope for improved relations between Jewish and Polish people.”

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Mr Mosberg was a frequent guest of honour at the March of the Living commemorations in Auschwitz. In New Jersey, where he spent the final decades of his life, he was active in fighting in defence of the Jersey City Katyn Memorial which the city authorities wanted to remove from its place to a less conspicuous location.