14 January 1928 – 28 April 2022
Max Glauben is born as Mendel Gauben in Warsaw. Together with his younger brother Heniek, he grows up in a middle-class, not very religious family. His father and grandfather publish newspapers in Yiddish language.
With the invasion of the German Wehrmacht in Poland the life of the family changes abruptly. Within the following weeks they are gradually deprived of their rights and possessions. In October all Jews of the Polish capital have to move into the newly established ghetto. More than 400.000 people are penned up in a cramped place. The living conditions in the ghetto are catastrophic, ten thousand people die of hunger and diseases or fall victim to the terror regime of the occupiers. Because the food in the ghetto is hardly enough to survive, Max together with other children smuggles food through the canalisation into the ghetto. The family survives until the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, after the abatement of which in May 1943 they are deported with the other survivors. In Majdanek Concentration Camp close to Lublin the family is separated. Mother Fela and Heniek were probably killed in one of the gas chambers shortly after the arrival. Mendel and his father Isaak are transferred to the work camp Budzyn by the SS, where they build aircraft parts for Heinkel. Shortly thereafter, the SS murders Isaak Glauben together with 29 other prisoners in retaliation of an attempt to escape. Via various other camps Mendel Gauben is brough to Flossenbürg Concentration Camp in August 1944. Once again, he has to work in aircraft production. The US-American troops liberate the 17-year-old end of April 1945 on a death march.
Two years after the war he emigrates into the USA. He changes his first name to Max, builds a business, joins the army and later works for a toy manufacturer. Together with his wife Frieda he has three children. Only towards the end of the 1970s he begins to talk about his experiences. Over the next decades he talks in front of numerous groups and lobbies for the establishment of a memorial in Dallas. Several times he attends the yearly meetings of survivors at the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial since 2013. In the year of 2019 the USC Shoah Foundation creates an interactive hologram of him.
For us the numerous meetings with Max over the years were all moments of joy. A few days ago, his son Phil and his grandson Ross attended the celebrations marking the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Flossenbürg Concentration Camp. Max died one day after their return to the US. Our thoughts these days are with Max Glauben and his relatives, to whom we sent our sincere condolences.
Prof. Dr. Jörg Skriebeleit and all staff of Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial