Naftali Fürst

Born 1932 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)

Naftali Fürst comes from a Slovakian-Jewish family. In 1942, he was imprisoned in the Sereď labour camp with his parents and older brother Shmuel. The Germans deported them from there to Auschwitz in November 1944. The family was separated in Auschwitz, and the two brothers were taken to Buchenwald on an ‘evacuation transport’. While Naftali Fürst was liberated there months later, the SS sent his brother to Theresienstadt in April 1945.

In the summer of 1945, Naftali Fürst returned to Bratislava and, miraculously, was reunited with his brother and parents. In 1949, they emigrated to Israel and made a new home for themselves at the Kibbutz Maanit.

In 2005, Naftali Fürst visited the Buchenwald Memorial for the 60th anniversary of the liberation. It was the first time he had stepped foot on German soil again. In Israel he is involved with the historical educational work of Yad Vashem. He is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Former Inmates of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Find out more

Naftali Fürst – 50 Years of Silence, interview on the Yad Vashem website

Fürst, Naftali: Wie Kohlestücke in den Flammen des Schreckens. Eine Familie überlebt den Holocaust, 4. Aufl., Neukirchen-Vluyn 2020.