Max Volpert

(born on 7 September 1931 in Kaunas) Prisoner number: 82229

The front drew ever closer, we could already hear the canons. I think they were already afraid. Even the SS who guarded us were afraid.

– Max Volpert about the approaching US soldiers

List of sources
Max Volpert, then 14 years old, was liberated by US troops while he was on a death march to Dachau. Source: KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau

Max Volpert was born in 1931. He lived in the Lithuanian Kaunas together with his younger sister and parents, where the Jewish family were highly respected. When Max Volpert was ten years old, the Wehrmacht attacked Lithuania. The German soldiers, especially Einsatzkommando 3 under the Captain of the SS, Karl Jäger, committed a number of atrocities against the Jewish population. The relocation to ghettos, selections and other destruction activities were part of everyday life.


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The deportations to extermination camps began in 1944. Together with his father, Max Volpert was brought to the Kaufering III concentration subcamp. Only later did he learn that his mother and younger sister had been murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp. His father and himself were put to work to construct the bunker at Kaufering III camp. His father died during this time.

As the US American troops moved closer, members of the SS sent concentration camp prisoners on a death march via Dachau concentration camp towards the south. During the march, survivors, including Max Volpert, who was 14 years old by that time, were liberated.

We knew the Americans were coming in this direction. (…) The Germans had already hoisted the white flags outside their windows. We heard convoys of tanks and jeeps and came out of our barns where we were hiding. There were many of them. And the Americans gave us these packages, they were the packages that the Americans had for their own food. (…) Many rushed towards them and died because they ate too much; many died just like that.

– Max Volpert about the liberation by American soldiers

List of sources

Today the native Lithuanian lives in Bat Jam, Israel. He has three children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. As a contemporary witness, he has made repeated visits to Germany since 1963, in order to help look back on and reappraise Nazi history.