Octavian Fulop is one of the few Holocaust survivors still alive in Romania. Out of his family of almost 60 people, he was the only one who escaped.

Octavian Fulop. PHOTO Government of Romania

Octavian Fulop (92 years old) arrived in the Nazi concentration camps at the age of 13 and a half, in April 1944, together with his whole family.

“We left four children, full of lice, without papers, on the road”

He was imprisoned in Melk, Mauthausen and Gunskirchen (all in Austria) and in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. He was released by the US Army from the Gunskirchen camp.

“One evening, I heard some gunshots. The guard fled, the camp remained empty. In the morning, the area was cleared by American troops. We left four children, full of lice, without papers, on the road. The American army was throwing chocolates and cigarettes. I cannot describe, I have no words to describe what freedom meant. I wandered the world, I didn’t know where I was going. Since then I’ve been saying that everything is worth giving for freedom, even life,” Octavian Fulop testifies.

“I survived alone”

Octavian Fulop recalled the moment of his return to Romania on Friday.

“I found an aunt. Of my entire family of 50-60 people, none survived. I survived alone. What did I find at home? Of all the wealth, all the prosperity? I found a picture. Of the parents”, says Octavian Fulop.

“Death was the easiest. Life was hard”

The disturbing story told by Octavian Fulop was heard on Friday, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Romania.

“In Birkenau death was the easiest. Life was hard”, Octavian Fulop also testified.

Commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is an essential pillar of the European Commission’s efforts to preserve history.

“The Holocaust is a defining legacy of European history, therefore combating anti-Semitism in the EU is a shared responsibility,” said Ramona Chiriac, head of the European Commission Representation in Romania.

The European Commission presented, on 5 October 2021, the first strategy on combating anti-Semitism and supporting Jewish life, to support EU countries and civil society in their fight against anti-Semitism.

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