Arno Lustiger

7 May 1924
15 May 2012
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Arno Lustiger (May 7, 1924 – May 15, 2012) was a German historian and author of Jewish origin. Lustiger made significant contributions to research and document the history of Jewish resistance under Nazi rule.

He was the father of the author Gila Lustiger and cousin to Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris.

Starting from January 21, 1945 Lustiger had to join the death march during the freezing winter towards the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Lower Silesia, as the Soviet troops were approaching. Only half of the 4.000 inmates survived the death march. Later he was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp and to the Langenstein-Zwieberge concentration camp near Halberstadt. There the expectancy of life was around three or four weeks.

In April 1945 Lustiger escaped during another death march, when the concentration camp was closed due to the approaching American troops. He was rescued by American soldiers and became a uniformed and armed translator of the US Army.

Since the end of the second world war Lustiger had lived in Frankfurt and had built up a successful company for ladies’ fashion. He had written articles about German-Jewish history, the Spanish civil war, the Jewish resistance and the persecution of Jews by Joseph Stalin. From 2004 to 2006 he was visiting professor at the Fritz-Bauer-Institute in Frankfurt.

On January 27, 2005, Arno Lustiger held a speech in front of the German Bundestag together with Wolf Biermann. On September 10, 2006, his essay (printed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung) criticised Günter Grass’s treatment of his Waffen-SS membership in his latest book.

On May 15, 2012, Lustiger died in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He was 88.

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