Heinz Galinski; Leader of Postwar Germany’s Jewish Community
Heinz Galinski, 79, a leader of Germany’s tiny postwar Jewish community who spoke against neo-Nazism with the authority of an Auschwitz survivor. In 1943, Galinski was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was transferred to Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen, which was liberated just before World War II ended. Later, Galinski led Berlin’s postwar community of a few thousand Jews. Galinski’s father, a World War I veteran of the German army, died while under Gestapo arrest. His mother and first wife also died in the Holocaust. In 1975, he narrowly escaped a bomb attack by the leftist Red Army Faction, and afterward was often accompanied by a bodyguard. After Germany reunited in 1990, he often warned that a wave of radical rightist violence could mean the return of widespread persecution, and said Germany must never be allowed to forget its crimes against humanity. In Berlin on Sunday after heart surgery.