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"I wanted to be a witness"

an English soldier interned himself in Auschwitz

The Wallenberg Foundation commissioned painter Felix de la Concha a portrait of Denis Avey, the British soldier who had himself interned in Auschwitz to personally assess what was going on.

Avey, 92 todate, was captured by the Germans during World War Two and jailed in a war prisoners camp close to Auschwitz. Every day he marched besides the lager inmates without being allowed to speak to them, which would be punished with death. Avey chose to take the place of a lager inmate, a Dutch Jew. The two exchanged their places and Avey entered Auschwitz III and remained in the lager until the end of the war.

There he saw "hell on earth, the most evil place", but he never lacked the courage and solidarity with the persecuted: Avey managed to help a man to get in touch with his sister who had fled to England.

The veteran, who has been so traumatized not to be able to speak about this experience with anyone for 60 years, now declares: “I wanted to see to be able to sleep at night”.

the Website of the Wallenberg Foundation

2 September 2010

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Shoah

the genocide of Jews

In the framework of second world war (1939-1945) Europe witnessed the genocide of the Jewish people (1941-1945). The “final solution“, the extermination of six million Jews, was planned by Hitler who had come on power in Germany in 1933. Since the publication of Mein Kampf, Hitler had planned the nationalsocialist revolution based on a racist ideology.
In the memory of the Jewish people and in the verdict that closed the works of the International Military Court, 6,000,000 victims of the extermination are estimated. As a matter of facts, the most reliable scholars including Raul Hilberg estimate about 5,200,000 victims.

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