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Former WWII prisoner Jack Terry dies at 92

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Berlin, Nov 04: Jack Terry, a former prisoner who survived several Nazi German concentration camps including Flossenbürg has died aged 92.

A spokesman for the Flossenbürg camp announced his death on Thursday.

Former WWII prisoner Jack Terry dies at 92

Terry was the youngest prisoner at the concentration camp set up in Bavaria to have been rescued by US forces in 1945. Aged 15 then, he was taken to the US where he became a psychoanalyst and settled in New York.

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The former Nazi prisoner returned to Flossenbürg in 1995. He was then appointed as a spokesman for the concentration camp's inmates.

Terry later withdrew from the role. He always rejected being described as a "concentration camp survivor" or "eyewitness."

When withdrawing from the role he said that the political consequences drawn from the Holocaust had not been clear enough and that the mantra of "never again" had become ritualized.

"The world has learned nothing," Terry said.

How did Terry end up in Flossenbürg?

Born to Jewish parents in Poland in 1930 as Jakub Szabmacher, Terry was the only member of his family who survived the Nazis.

He was first taken to the Budzyn camp following Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland in 1939. Then, he was moved to Wieliczka camp, before ending up in Flossenbürg.

Up to 100,000 prisoners passed through Flossenbürg prior to its liberation by US forces in 1945. Around 30,000 died either from overwork, malnutrition, executions or on the so-called "death marches" trying to relocate prisoners as Germany lost territory late in the war.

At first the camp was designed as a remote forced labor site mainly for German prisoners. The number of prisoners from other countries started to swell after Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union and the opening of an eastern front.

"While I left Flossenbürg as quickly as I could, Flossenbürg never left me my whole life long," Terry said about the camp, which was set up in Bavaria, near the border with the Czech Republic.

Terry visited Flossenbürg nearly every year since 1995. A spokesman for the camp memorial quoted him as saying that it was important to him "that something remains of this terrible place that should never have existed."

rmt/msh (dpa, epd)

Source: DW

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