Max Ansbacher

(born on 11 January 1927 in Würzburg, died on 27 February 2021 in Jerusalem) Prisoner number: 115163

Max Ansbacher was born on 11 January 1927 in Würzburg. Here he lived with his parents and his brother Naftali, who was four years’ his senior. When acts of violence against Jews in Germany and Austria finally culminated in Crystal Night in 1938, the Reich Representation of German Jews sent Max Ansbacher to relatives in Belgium on a Kindertransport [Children’s Transport] train.

After his liberation Max Ansbacher worked in the Yad Vashem Memorial Centre in Israel. The photograph records him taking the then German Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer around the memorial centre. Quelle: unknown

Given that unrest prevailed in Belgium, too, he was sent to France by the Belgium police. It was from Calais that Ansbacher was to flee to Great Britain. His exit was no longer possible due to the Wehrmacht’s invasion of France, however. Hence he was deported to an internment camp in Calais, and returned to Würzburg via Belgium in January 1942. His father died that same year.

In September 1942, Max Ansbacher and his mother were deported from Würzburg first of all, to Theresienstadt and shortly thereafter to Auschwitz. There Ansbacher’s mother was murdered. As Ansbacher would later learn, his brother died there too.

Max Ansbacher himself was transported to Kaufering IV concentration subcamp and put to work as a forced labourer on a bunker construction site for rail and tree work. It was during that time that Ansbacher was taken ill with typhus. Despite this, in late April 1945 he had to embark on a long death march into the unknown. He was finally liberated at Dachau concentration subcamp, Allach in Munich.

Following his liberation he immigrated to Palestine via Belgium. He studied in Israel and worked at the Israeli Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, where he later managed the museum. In 2007 he was awarded the Order of the Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his commitment to German-Israeli relations. Max Ansbacher died on 27 February 2021 in Jerusalem.