Holocaust survivor, 75, dies

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ONE of the last known Holocaust survivors in Northampton has died after a battle with cancer.

Henry Markstein, from Parklands, Northampton, who fled Austria with his family aged just three during the rise of Hitler, died aged 75 at home with his family on April 7.

The Chron has previously reported the incredible story of Mr Markstein and his family’s journey to England to escape the Holocaust shortly before the outbreak of World War Two.

He recalled the story of how his father first fled to Czechoslovakia crawling on his hands and knees before a short while later summoning his son and wife, who were also able to cross illegally.

The family then sought sanctuary in England via an affidavit, which was hard to come by, and settled in Northampton where Mr Markstein’s father was posted in the British Army.

In an interview to mark Holocaust Memorial Day last year, Mr Markstein said: “The Holocaust was carried out by a people who were looked up to for their culture.

“The moral is hate the Germans’ grandfathers and great-grandfathers for what they did, and never ever forget it.

“You do not forgive it – but do not tar the present generation with the same brush.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is not going to bring six million people back to life but it will always be an example of racism, hatred and the capability of man’s inhuman action to man.”

Mr Markstein, who worked for the family’s wallpaper business, leaves behind his wife Cynthia, two children and five grandchildren.

Cynthia said: “We can’t say for definite that he was the last Holocaust survivor in the town, but he was certainly one of the last.

“He was very brave. Nobody would have known he was fighting cancer.

“He was just that type of person, I don’t know where he got that strength from.

“It was important to him that everyone knew about the Holocaust so it could be prevented from happening again.

“But he was a private person and he didn’t want any recognition for his own experience.

“It is very significant that he was one of the last survivors, their memory needs to live on to educate the next generation. Lest we forget.”