Holocaust survivor and activist Roman Kent dies at 92

Roman Kent, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who negotiated with the German authorities for billions in compensation for his fellow survivors, died Friday at his Manhattan dwelling. He was 92.

A longtime board member of the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, Kent additionally fought for survivor pursuits with insurance coverage firms, German business and Eastern European governments.

Last 12 months, Kent was among the many Holocaust survivors who demanded Facebook remove posts denying the genocide ever occurred. The #NoDenyingIt campaign argued that Facebook is just too lenient towards Holocaust deniers.

“An incredible life, and an incalculable loss,” tweeted Cherrie Daniels, the State Department’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues.

Kent was chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Decendents at the time of his demise. The group paperwork the lives of survivors and works with educators to show concerning the Holocaust.

Holocaust survivor Roman Kent
Holocaust survivor Roman Kent fought for survivor pursuits with insurance coverage firms, German business and Eastern European governments.
Czarek Sokolowski/AP

He produced the award-winning documentary Children of the Holocaust, partially filmed in Auschwitz, which was honored at the 1980 New York International Film Festival.

“Roman made himself available for every cause put in front of him, tirelessly giving of his time and energy,” (*92*) Taylor chair of operations for the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the place he served on the chief committee, said in a statement.

“…No task was too large or too overwhelming,” Taylor wrote. “Even as his own health waned, he continued to fight against antisemitism and hatred.”  

Born Roman Kniker in Lodz, Poland, he was 10 when the Germans invaded in 1939. He and his household have been imprisoned within the Lodz ghetto a short while later.

They needed to depart the household canine, Lala, behind, however Lala discovered them within the ghetto, the place she remained till the Germans took her away. In 2006, he revealed a guide known as, “My Dog Lala,” which used his recollections of the pup to teach youngsters concerning the Holocaust.

Kent informed his story to the USC Shoah Foundation in 2007. While within the ghetto, he was pressured to stitch leather-based knapsacks for German troopers, however he and the opposite laborers resisted by slowing down manufacturing at any time when they might. The harsh circumstances there led to his father’s demise from malnutrition in 1943.

Roman Kent
Roman Kent in 2000 Kent was awarded the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance Award and the Schulweis Award from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.
Henry Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images

In fall 1944, the ghetto was emptied and the household deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He and his brother, Leon, have been separated from their mom and two sisters. The brothers have been transferred a number of occasions, to Gross-Rosen and Flossenberg, and have been in a pressured march to Dachau when U.S. troops liberated the Nazi’s demise camps in April 1945.

After the struggle, they realized their mom died at Auschwitz, however their sisters survived. Their oldest sister, Dasza, died just a few months later.

In 1946, Kent and his brother immigrated to the U.S. as a part of a program for five,000 Jewish orphans. The lived with foster households in Atlanta earlier than attending Emory University.

After school, the brothers moved to New York and modified their title as a result of it was simpler to pronounce. Leon grew to become a neurosurgeon, whereas Roman began a world commerce firm. He grew to become deeply concerned in causes that forwarded the wants of Holocaust survivors and those that helped Jews throughout the struggle.

Among a protracted checklist of different honors, in 2000 Kent was awarded the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance Award and the Schulweis Award from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. In 2005, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of Merit, the very best civilian award given by the Polish authorities.

Kent married Hannah Starkman, a Lodz native and fellow Auschwitz survivor, in 1957. She died in December 2017. He is survived by his daughter Susan Kent Avjian, son Jeffrey Kent, three grandchildren, and an incredible granddaughter.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.