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Dutch comedian and television artist Abraham (‘Appie’) Bueno de Mesquita died in Lelystad, his hometown, at age 87 on this date in 2005. Mesquita’s shtik included making funny faces, which saved his life during the Holocaust when the commander of the concentration camp in Belgium where Mesquita was imprisoned (and was about to be deported to Auschwitz) came looking for musicians. Mesquita’s ability to play a broken-down, one-string cello and his rubbery talents as a mimic got him selected for survival. (In 1994 he wrote a memoir titled, One String Cello.) He became one of the first European television artists in the early 1950s and was a regular on German television, particularly on Rudi Carrell’s comedy show for thirteen seasons. To see him making his escape on television, look below.
“Since his name was hard to pronounce for many Germans, in Germany, he was known as the small one, with the moustache. He has stated that his success in making Germans laugh sometimes felt as a small revenge.” —Wikipedia