“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel

Author Dreads to Think What Holocaust Survivor Parents Would Say About Rise in Antisemitsm


Agnes Grunwald-Spier said her parents were “bitterly scarred by the Nazis.” Photo: agnesgrunwaldspier.com.

“I dread to think what my parents would say if they were alive today and saw the rise of antisemitism again,” Jewish author Agnes Grunwald-Spier, 70, told the U.K.’s Ham & High.

Grunwald-Spier was born in Hungary in 1944 and now lives in the mostly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green in northern London, a neighborhood that was recently targeted by neo fascists for an antisemitic march.

Grunwald-Spier’s mother was spared from deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II but the family was later sent to the Budapest Ghetto. She was a baby in the Holocaust and said she was very fortunate to survive with her parents, though they were “bitterly scarred” by Nazi atrocities.

“I don’t have any siblings because my father wouldn’t bring any more children into this world after his experiences as a forced laborer,” said Grunwald-Spier, who is a founder trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

The author of The Other Schindlers: Why Some People Chose to Save Jews in the Holocaust, said the problem of prejudice and intolerance against Jews has “not gone away,” and it is an issue she would like to see reported on.

The author grew up in Sutton, Surrey with her mother after her father’s suicide in 1955. Her paternal great-grandfather was a rabbi in Sopron in Hungary, she told Ham & High. She claims she is “not particularly observant” but that his soul would be happy that she now lives in the Jewish part of Golders Green.

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