Last Norwegian Auschwitz Survivor Dies at 91, PM’s Office Says

Samuel Steinmann
Samuel Steinmann and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attend Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 in Oslo. Steinmann, along with four other Norwegian Jews who survived Auschwitz, was eventually set free by U.S. forces entering Buchenwald. Photographer: Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Samuel Steinmann, the last remaining Norwegian survivor of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp, died at the age of 91.

Steinmann passed away on May 1 and will be buried in a state funeral on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said in a statement over the weekend.

“As a witness to history, Samuel Steinmann was important for our whole nation,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in the statement.

Of an estimated 2,100 Jews living in Norway at the outbreak of World War II, 772 were deported to concentration camps on the continent after Germany’s invasion in 1940 while about 60 percent managed to flee to neutral Sweden, according to the Norwegian Holocaust Center. Of those deported, only 34 survived.

Following more than two years of harassment and constrictions on daily life, Norwegian police authorities in October 1942 ordered the arrest of all male Jews over the age of 15 and a reporting-duty for all women, according to the center. Most were interned at the Berg prison camp before 523 in November of that year were deported on the ship Donau to Auschwitz.

Steinmann, along with four other Norwegian Jews who survived Auschwitz, was eventually set free by U.S. forces entering Buchenwald.

Steinmann was born in Oslo and grew up in the city’s Nordstrand area. His father was a businessman and ran a clothing shop in downtown Oslo, according to a biography posted by the Holocaust Center.

After initially refusing to talk about his experiences during the war, Steinmann in recent years started giving talks to the public and to school classes.

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