Seventy years after his liberation, Holocaust survivor Ed Mosberg was back at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, clad once again in the striped uniform of an inmate. This time, however, Mosberg, now 89 and living in Union, was there for a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps.
Part of a rapidly dwindling group of survivors, his image was carried by newspapers across Europe covering the May 10 event.
“I remember at the 50th anniversary celebration, there were 40,000 people and many survivors,” he told NJ Jewish News in a phone call from Budapest days after the event. “I marched with Simon Wiesenthal. This time, there were about 22,000. The organizers said there were 50 survivors, but I only saw maybe 20.”
He was accompanied by his wife Cecile, who also survived Mauthausen, along with their three daughters, their sons-in-law and grandchildren, and rabbis from Baltimore and Krakow, Poland. Mosberg chose to march and lay a wreath as part of the Israeli delegation.
At his request, the chief cantor of the Israel Defense Forces was invited, and chanted a prayer for the dead. Israel’s national anthem “Hatikvah” was sung.
“It was emotional and very moving to be there for the anniversary,” said Mosberg’s grandson Barry Levine, who is cochair of the American Society for Yad Vashem’s Young Leadership Associates.
His grandfather was more reserved. “I am never satisfied,” Mosberg said. “Leaders from different countries spoke and they said there is no place for anti-Semitism in Europe, but I don’t know what people had in their hearts.”
Back home he will continue to speak about the Holocaust wherever he can. “I lost my entire family,” he said. “I have to do it.”