The Holocaust survivor and professor of German studies, Ladislaus Löb, died on Saturday at the age of 88 in Zurich. This is announced by the Gamaraal Foundation. In 1944 he escaped the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and fled to Switzerland.
«Professor Löb provided impressive information about the Holocaust and warned against racism and anti-Semitism. It is with a heavy heart that we have to continue this work without him ”, positive the founder and president of the Gamaraal Foundation, Anita Winter, opposite kath.ch. “We have lost a kind-hearted person, friend, teacher and mentor whom everyone who has met him will never forget.”
Ladislaus Löb was born in Cluj (Romania) in 1933. In 1944 he came under the influence of Nazi Germany in Hungary. At first he lived in the Kolozsvár ghetto. He fled to Budapest with his father and joined the “Kasztner Group” there.
Bought free from concentration camps
The 11-year-old boy was sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on July 9, 1944. He was lucky because he was released. He owed this to the initiative of Rudolf Kasztner. The Jewish «Committee for Help and Rescue», which he led, succeeded in buying 1670 Jews out of concentration camps and bringing them to Switzerland.
Ladislaus Löb reached Switzerland on December 7, 1944. He was housed in a refugee camp in western Switzerland. In 1948 he entered the Realgymnasium Zurich and also studied at the university there. In the city he works as a teacher and journalist. He was naturalized in 1961.
In 1963, the University of Sussex engaged him as a German Lector in Brighton, UK. there a year later he was appointed lecturer in German. Löb made a career leap in 1971 when he became a visiting professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA.
In 1972 he was visiting professor at the University of Konstanz. In 1998 he became Professor of German Studies at the University of Sussex. He held this professorship until his retirement in 2001. In 2017 he took up residence in Zurich again.
As a Jew who knows Germany
In some places it was astonishing that Löb became a professor of the German language, of all things, including the language of the country that killed millions of Jews in concentration camps. He told the Gamaraal Foundation: “Anyone who wants to retaliate for the crimes of the Nazis with hatred of everything German runs the risk of sinking to the totalitarian level of National Socialism.”
Destruction and creation
As a teacher of German language and literature, as well as a Jewish Germanist, he can “accept an understanding of the dialectic between creativity and destructiveness, which for centuries has now produced astonishing achievements in German history, now causing catastrophes.” (gs)
© Catholic Media Center, October 6th, 2021
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