Holocaust survivor Dora Roth passes away at the age of 92 - World Jewish Congress

Holocaust survivor Dora Roth passes away at the age of 92

Holocaust survivor Dora Roth passes away at the age of 92

Dora Roth during a Knesset debate on the treatment of Holocaust survivors, on April 29, 2013. (Screenshot/Knesset Channel)

Holocaust survivor and survivor advocate Dora Roth has died in Israel at the age of was 92 tears old. She was only seven years old when her family fled from her native Warsaw to Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania following the German invasion of Poland. Roth and her family were interned in the Vilna ghetto where her father was executed in front of her eyes. After the destruction of the ghetto, Roth, her mother, and her sister were deported to a series of camps before arriving at the Stutthof concentration camp where they underwent harsh labor and extreme brutality. Roth’s mother and sister did not survive the camp.

In later years, Roth often showed visitors two bullet wounds on her back from when the Germans shot at the inmates as the Red Army approached the camp. She was13 years old and weighed a mere 18 kilos—40 pounds—when Soviet soldiers found her in a pool of blood and took her to a hospital. Dora Roth settled in Israel where she married, raised two children, and had five grandchildren. She spent her life speaking to young people all over the world about her experiences. "I will never forget that I was always hungry, day and night" she said. In 2017, she testified at a trial in Hamburg, Germany, against one of the last surviving Stutthof guards.

Dora is perhaps best known for her scathing 2013 excoriation of members of the Israeli Knesset’s Health and Welfare Committee, alleging that the committee was wasting time on endless debates, while abandoning Holocaust survivors to die in poverty. On that occasion she told the Knesset members: “Seeing a Holocaust survivor who can’t afford to heat his home in the winter and can’t afford to buy food or medicine is your disgrace. I don’t care about your committees. They mean nothing to us. I came all the way here to ask you one thing: Let us die in dignity.”