Esther Bejarano, survivor of the extermination camp Auschwitz and member of the honorary presidium of the FIR died

10. Juli 2021

On July 10, 2021, we received the sad news that Esther Bejarano, survivor of the Auschwitz death camp and active for decades in the anti-fascist movement in Germany, honorary chair of the German VVN-BdA passed away at the age of 96 after a short serious illness. We are affected and saddened.

In its obituary, the VVN-BdA describes Esther Bejarano as a woman of great determination and almost unbelievable élan, whom many of us were able to experience on the big stage until the end. She last sat on our small stage in Hamburg’s Gängeviertel on May 8 and told of her liberation on May 3, 1945 by soldiers of the Red Army and the U.S. Army, who arrived shortly after each other in the small town of Lübsz. Esther had found shelter there with some friends from the Ravensbrück concentration camp after escaping the death march together.

Unforgotten is her May 8 petition, which was supported by over 150,000 people. „May 8 must become a holiday! A day to celebrate the liberation of humanity from the Nazi regime. This is overdue for seven decades. Moreover, perhaps helps to finally understand that May 8, 1945 was the day of liberation, the defeat of the Nazi regime. May 8 would then be an opportunity to reflect on the great hopes of humanity: on freedom, equality, brotherhood – and sisterhood.“

The FIR Congress in Reggio Emilia appointed her as a member of the honorary presidium with the following reason: „We appreciate your decades of active work in the ranks of the VVN-BdA, as a tireless contemporary witness and as an anti-fascist artist. Especially your intensive work with the younger generations and your involvement in the political disputes of the present are exemplary for all of us.“

Now the tireless „contemporary witness“ against forgetting historical fascism and trivializing neo-fascism, admonisher and fighter for human rights, peace and a solidary society has passed away.

The FIR expresses its deepest condolences to the children of Esther Bejarano, her comrades-in-arms in the VVN-BdA, in the German and International Auschwitz Committee and all anti-fascists connected with her.