Holocaust survivor Henri Kichka dies of coronavirus

Henri Kichka, who was one of the last living Holocaust survivors from Belgium, has reportedly passed away from coronavirus at the age of 94. A teenage Kichka miraculously survived both Auschwitz and a German death march after being imprisoned in 1942. Kichka’s son Michael confirmed his father’s death and wrote on Facebook, “A small microscopic coronavirus has succeeded where the entire Nazi army had failed. My father had survived the Death March, but today his Life March has ended.”

Here is Henri Kichka’s story.

Holocaust Survivor Henri Kichka Dies Of Coronavirus 

BBC reported that Kichka was born in Brussels in 1926 to a family that had fled the anti-semitism of eastern Europe to start a new life in the west.

Unfortunately, the Nazis soon invaded, and the Kichka family was deported to Germany in 1942.

When the family arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Kichka and his father were forced to work as slave laborers. Tragically, his mother, sisters, and an aunt were all immediately gassed upon arrival. 

In 1945, Kichka was sent on a “death march’ to a German camp by guards as Russian forces approached. Once he was finally liberated, Kichka refused to speak of his experiences during the war for many years.

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Never Forget 

Henri Kichka eventually married and had four children, nine grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

While he was reluctant to talk about what happened to him for a long time, Kichka eventually started giving lectures in schools about the Holocaust.

In the end, this Holocaust survivor felt it was worth the pain of having to relive his ordeal in order to ensure people never forgot what happened. 

Sixty years after World War II ended, Kichka published a memoir about life in the camps so that the public would never forget what had happened to him.

He was still granting interviews about the Holocaust this year before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Henri Kichka Opens Up About The Holocaust

“You did not live through Auschwitz. The place itself is death,” he told the BBC in January.

“It is the only concentration in the history of the world where a million people died,” he added. “The only one, Auschwitz. It was horrible and now I am one of the last survivors.”

Kichka said that he weighed just 85 pounds when he was liberated. After that, he dealt with injuries he suffered on the death march for the rest of his life.

“I was 90% dead. I was a skeleton. I was in a sanatorium for months and in hospital,” he said. 

Despite this, Henri Kichka survived the Holocaust and lived nearly another 75 years before he was sadly struck down by coronavirus.

We will never forget what happened to Kichka and his family, or the millions of souls lost to the Holocaust.

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