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January 7: Boris Lurie and No!art

Boris Lurie, a Holocaust survivor who in 1959 co-founded, with Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher, the No!art movement as a protest against the political disengagement represented by Abstract Expressionism (and, in subsequent years, Pop Art), died at 83 on this date in 2008. Lurie was born in Leningrad and suffered through several concentration camps in […]

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November 15: Samuel Klein’s Casas Bahia Empire

Samuel Klein, who survived the Maidenek concentration camp and became the creator of Brazil’s largest retail merchandiser, Casas Bahia, was born in Poland on this date in 1923. Klein, one of nine children, lost his mother and five younger siblings to Treblinka. He escaped from a forced march in 1944, lived for a number of […]

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September 6: From Treblinka to Toys

Fred Kort, a Holocaust survivor who founded the Imperial Toy Corporation, manufacturer of the high-bounce ball among hundreds of other playthings, died at 80 on this date in 2003. Kort and his family were among 22,000 Polish Jews expelled from Germany by the Nazis. Slated for death at Treblinka in August 1943, he managed to […]

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June 8: The World’s Oldest Man

Polish-born Alexander Imich, who was deemed the oldest man in the world by Guinness World Records, died at 111 on this date in 2014. At the time, there were sixty-six women in the world older than him, including a 116-year-old. Imich fought the Bolsheviks in Poland as a youth. He earned a Ph.D. in zoology […]

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April 18: The Concentration Camp Mime

Zvi Kanar, a child survivor of the Holocaust who became a well-known mime, died at 80 on this date in 2009. Born into a khasidic family in Poland, he spent years of his adolescence in concentration camps in Poland and Germany, including Buchenwald, and survived at least one death march. Kanar “used his physical mimic […]

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March 13: Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim, a Viennese Freudian psychologist who survived nearly two years in Buchenwald and Dachau and went on to become a worldwide authority on autism and the emotional lives of children — although his theories were incorrect and venal towards mothers — died a suicide at age 86 on this date in 1990. (His suicide […]

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November 11: Brother Theodore

Comedian, monologuist, and chess sharp Theodore Gottlieb, who made his mark as “Brother Theodore” in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, was born in Dusseldorf, Germany on this date in 1906. The Nazis imprisoned him in Dachau until he signed over his family’s wealth (his father was a fashion-magazine mogul), and Albert Einstein, a family friend […]

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