Arno Lustiger

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Arno Lustiger.
Arno Lustiger. Lustiger2.jpg
Arno Lustiger.

Arno Lustiger (May 7, 1924 – May 15, 2012) [1] was a German historian and author of Jewish origin. Lustiger made significant contributions to research and document the history of Jewish resistance under Nazi rule.

Germans citizens or native-born people of Germany; or people of descent to the ethnic and ethnolinguistic group associated with the German language

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

Historian person who studies and writes about the past

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.

An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is thus also a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.


He was the father of the author Gila Lustiger and cousin to Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris. [2]

Jean-Marie Lustiger French Catholic cardinal

Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger was a French cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Paris from 1981 until his resignation in 2005. He was created cardinal in 1983 by Pope John Paul II. His life is depicted in the 2013 film Le métis de Dieu.

Archbishop bishop of higher rank in many Christian denominations

In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.


Lustiger was born and grew up in Będzin in the Polish portion of Upper Silesia. His father, David Lustiger, City Councillor of Bendzin, had a company making machines for bread production. In 1939 the company was confiscated by the Nazis, but David Lustiger stayed in the company as a worker. In the beginning of 1943 the Jewish population of Będzin was detained in the Będzin ghetto. The Lustiger family were able to hide in a cellar. In August 1943, the ghetto was closed and the population was deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few days later, the family voluntarily went to a camp of forced workers in Annaberg, Silesia, in order to remain together as a family.

Będzin Place in Silesian, Poland

Będzin(listen) is a city in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie, southern Poland. It lies in the Silesian Highlands, on the Czarna Przemsza river. Even though part of Silesian Voivodeship, Będzin belongs to historic Lesser Poland, and it is one of the oldest towns of this province. Będzin is regarded as the capital of Zagłębie Dąbrowskie.

Upper Silesia

Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic.

Auschwitz concentration camp German network of concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland during World War II

The Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust. It consisted of Auschwitz I, the main camp (Stammlager) and administrative headquarters, in Oświęcim; Auschwitz II–Birkenau, a combined concentration/extermination camp three kilometers away in Brzezinka; Auschwitz III–Monowitz, a labor camp seven kilometers from Auschwitz I, set up to staff an IG Farben synthetic-rubber factory; and dozens of other subcamps.

However, the family was torn apart. Lustiger was deported to the concentration camp Ottmuth and later to Blechhammer, a subcamp of Auschwitz. Starting from January 21, 1945 Lustiger had to join the death march during the freezing winter towards the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Lower Silesia, as the Soviet troops were approaching. Only half of the 4.000 inmates survived the death march. Later he was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp and to the Langenstein-Zwieberge concentration camp near Halberstadt. There the expectancy of life was around three or four weeks.


The Blechhammer area was the location of Nazi Germany chemical plants, prisoner of war (POW) camps, and forced labor camps. Labor camp prisoners began arriving as early as June 17, 1942, and in July 1944, 400–500 men were transferred from the Terezin family camp to Blechhammer. The mobile “pocket furnace” crematorium was at Sławięcice.) and Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21 was a mile from the Blechhammer oil plants and was not far from Kattowitz and Breslau. Blechhammer synthetic oil production began April 1, 1944 with 4000 prisoners,, with the slave labor camp holding these prisoners during April 1944, becoming a satellite camp of the dreaded Auschwitz extermination camp, as Arbeitslager Blechhammer.

Death march forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees in which individuals are left to die along the way

A death march is a forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees in which individuals are left to die along the way. It is distinguished in this way from simple prisoner transport via foot march. Death marches usually feature harsh physical labor and abuse, neglect of prisoner injury and illness, deliberate starvation and dehydration, humiliation and torture, and execution of those unable to keep up the marching pace. The march may end at a prisoner-of-war camp or internment camp, or it may continue until all the prisoners are dead.

Gross-Rosen concentration camp Concentration camp in Poland

Gross-Rosen concentration camp was a German network of Nazi concentration camps built and operated during World War II. The main camp was located in the German village of Gross-Rosen, now the modern-day Rogoźnica in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland; directly on the rail-line between the towns of Jawor (Jauer) and Strzegom (Striegau).

In April 1945 Lustiger escaped during another death march, when the concentration camp was closed due to the approaching American troops. He was rescued by American soldiers and became a uniformed and armed translator of the US Army.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Since the end of the second world war Lustiger had lived in Frankfurt and had built up a successful company for ladies' fashion. He had written articles about German-Jewish history, the Spanish civil war, the Jewish resistance and the persecution of Jews by Joseph Stalin. From 2004 to 2006 he was visiting professor at the Fritz-Bauer-Institute in Frankfurt. [3]

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

Fritz Bauer German judge

Fritz Bauer was a German Jewish judge and prosecutor who played an essential role in starting the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials.

On January 27, 2005, Arno Lustiger held a speech in front of the German Bundestag together with Wolf Biermann.[ citation needed ] On September 10, 2006, his essay (printed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung ) criticised Günter Grass's treatment of his Waffen-SS membership in his latest book.

On May 15, 2012, Lustiger died in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He was 88. [2] [4]


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  1. Arno Lustiger verstorben (in German) in Jüdische Allgemeine, May 16, 2012
  2. 1 2 "Arno Lustiger, historian and Holocaust survivor, dies at 88". Jewish Telegraphic Agency . May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  3. "Gastprofessur am Fritz Bauer Institut Prof. Dr. h.c. Arno Lustiger" (in German). Fritz Bauer Institut. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  4. Arno Lustiger – Historiker des jüdischen Widerstands (in German), May 16, 2012