World News 18 Mart 2024

'A force for good': Holocaust survivor Henry Wuga dies aged 100

A Holocaust survivor who spent much of his life educating people about the Nazi atrocity has been remembered as a “force for good” following his death at the age of 100.

Henry Wuga’s death was confirmed by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Sunday, with chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman saying they were “heartbroken”.

“Henry was a gentleman: charming, dapper and above all, a force for good,” she added.

“The work that he, and his late wife Ingrid, did in sharing their testimonies, made an immense impact on thousands of people across Scotland.

“All of us at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust send our deepest sympathies to his daughters Hilary and Gillian and all his family and loved ones.”

Mr Wuga was born in the German city of Nuremburg in 1924 and, according to his story on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s website, his childhood was normal and happy.

But as the Nazis held their massive rallies near the family home, Mr Wuga could not escape the growing antisemitic sentiment in his country.

In 1939, before the Second World War, his mother managed to get the then-15-year-old on the kindertransport.

He eventually found himself in Glasgow, where he was taken in by a Jewish widow and refugee who treated him like her own son.

Mr Wuga loved his life in Glasgow and so, after a period of internment as a “dangerous enemy alien”, he returned to the Scottish city.

It was there he met Ingrid Wolff, the young woman who became his wife.

They often visited schools to speak about the Holocaust and Mr Wuga also spent 28 years teaching ex-servicemen with missing limbs how to ski – work that earned him an MBE in 1999.

Scotland First Minister Humza Yousaf said he was “devastated” to hear of Mr Wuga’s death, adding: “His loss will be felt by communities right across Scotland and beyond.

“He worked over decades to remind us of the horrors of the Holocaust, which must never be forgotten.”

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Remembering the Holocaust

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Henry was an extraordinary human being. While the world is a poorer place for his passing, there is no doubt that his life made it better.

“Alongside his beloved wife, Ingrid, Henry educated thousands about the horrors of the Holocaust and the lessons from it that we must never forget.

“With quiet dignity, he reminded us of the power of love and humanity. He was also full of stories and fun.”

She added: “He will be so enormously missed – but his legacy will endure.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar described Mr Wuga as “warm, charming and compassionate”, adding: “We owe it to his generation to share their stories and always strive for peace.”

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Tories, said: “His bravery and resilience will remain an inspiration to us all.”

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