Obituary Marko Feingold
Holocaust Survivor Marko Feingold has died at the age of 106
Marko M. Feingold, the long-serving President of the Salzburg Jewish Community and at 106 Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor passed away in Salzburg on 19 September 2019.
Born in Neusohl (Banská Bystrica), at that time still in the Kingdom of Hungary, Marko Feingold grew up with his siblings in Leopoldstadt, Vienna’s second district. In 1938 he was arrested in Vienna, whereupon he fled to Prague. From there, he was deported to Poland and, following his return to Prague, was once again arrested. Marko Feingold survived four concentration camps. From Auschwitz he was sent to Neuengamme and Dachau, arriving in Buchenwald in 1941, where he remained imprisoned until the liberation. He was the only one of his family to survive the Holocaust.
Marko Feingold came to be in Salzburg by chance and once there he immediately dedicated himself to helping other Holocaust survivors. Between 1945 and 1948 he helped Jewish survivors living in DP camps or coming from Central and Eastern Europe to emigrate to Palestine with the support of the refugee organization Bricha.
As the long-time President of the Salzburg Jewish Community he was a tireless advocate for interreligious dialogue and understanding.
Marko Feingold not only witnessed the history of the Republic of Austria from the time of its birth, accompanying it through its many ups and downs; he also significantly shaped it through his persistent warnings about the dangers of Antisemitism. His extraordinary life story is the subject of a large number of projects sponsored by the National Fund.
Marko Feingold also played an active role in projects as a surviving eyewitness; most recently he was involved in the theater production “To the Promised Land! Eretz Austria!” Compelling appearances in the production “The Last Witnesses” at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 2013/14, and on the “Day of Remembrance Against Violence and Racism in Commemoration of the Victims of National Socialism” at the Parliament in 2016 will also be remembered.
Seeing Marko Feingold appear as an eyewitness was always a special experience. He was unique in the way he approached young people with his refined humor, open nature and great charisma, conveying to them not only a deeper understanding of history but also a sense of empathy for the victims.
The Secretary General of the National Fund, Hannah Lessing, recalls Marko Feingold as more than just a great eyewitness: “Marko Feingold was a great man, who became a dear friend over the course of the years. His good nature and kindness, which he retained despite the terrible injustices he suffered, were an inspiration and a sign of hope to me. I extend my deepest condolences to his wonderful wife Hanna, who was always at his side supporting him.”
“The greatest people are those who give others hope.” (Jean Jaurès)
When we say farewell to Marko Feingold we will take leave of a beacon of hope. But all those who were lucky enough to know him will pass on the seeds sown through his tireless work, which he carried out to the very last.