Esther Brunstein: we must never forget

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Esther Brunstein 1928-2017

Anti-fascist campaigner Esther Brunstein died last month. She was a survivor of the Holocaust.

She played an active role in the struggle against the far right, speaking at meetings, assemblies, trade unions and workplaces.

Esther was born in Lodz, Poland. She starts her chapter in a book of survivor accounts saying she came from “a very close-knit and enlightened working class family”.

Her parents were active members of the Bund, a socialist political organisation

In an interview with Socialist Review (January 2015) she talked about her socialist roots, surviving the camps, and the need to continue the fight against fascism.

She talks of the conditions in the camps: “It was winter. We had practically nothing to wear. Somehow we picked up some rags and washed them in freezing water — we had no soap. My hands were swollen, the skin rough and cracked.”

On being asked how important it was to speak out about the Holocaust, she said, “Extremely important, so that we do everything we can, possible and impossible, for it to never happen again.”

That Esther survived with her humanity and hope intact is a tribute to her and a rebuttal of all the Nazis wanted to erase.

The full interview can be found here