Think of the Holocaust of World War II and what does the average person think of? – most likely the six million or more Jews who were brutally murdered in the concentration camps. Yet there were other groups who were also tormented, including Gypsies, the handicapped, and – oh yes – Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was of this last group that the oldest known male holocaust survivor, Leopold Engleitner, hails. He has toured the world, making public appearances with his traveling companion, Bernhard Rammerstorfer.
It was in June 2009 that I wrote the article entitled, “At 103 the Oldest Male Holocaust Survivor is not a Jew.” Today I found myself wondering if Leopold is now dead. So I checked and found an update. Engleitner is alive at the ripe old age of 107 years!* The joy of life remains yet in him.
Born in Austria in 1905, Leopold Engleitner does not represent himself as anything other than an ordinary man; nevertheless, he is a living reminder of the horrid slaughter of millions in concentration camps. Yet, he even goes a bit beyond that. Whereas most encamped individuals of other groups could not leave, Engleitner had a choice. He could have left by signing a simple document renouncing his faith and supporting the Nazi movement. This he refused to do.
Thus it can be said he displayed, an “unbroken will” to continue faithfully following his God. Indeed, this is the title of a publication written by Rammerstorfer, describing the events of Engleitner’s life. What’s more, Leopold has not given up his tour of the world. His latest tour has been his “Unbroken Will 2009 USA Tour.” He says it is not his Farewell Tour.
Adolf Hitler, who had vowed to stamp out the Witnesses, died, himself, instead-along with his Third Reich.
Watch this Video – CBS2/KCAL9 news report on Leopold Engleitner “Unbroken Will 2009 USA Tour.”