One of the last known Holocaust survivors in Alaska dies at 93
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - One of the last known Holocaust survivors living in Alaska passed away last Thursday. On Sunday, Fred Mane was buried in Anchorage at a service attended by family and friends. Mane’s life is a fascinating story, but it is one that he was afraid to tell people for a long time.
“Then he says he was born in Wachenheim, Germany, in 1929 and that’s when I realize, oh my gosh.” Rabbi Mendy Greenberg said. “And at about 10 years old, his life, his family’s life and millions of others’ lives stopped, paused, as we all happened in 1939 in Germany.”
At the age of 10, he and his 7-year-old sister were put on a train by their parents from Germany to France. That saved both of the children’s lives, but their parents did not have the same fate. They were sent to Auschwitz where they both died in the concentration camp. Mane and his sister were later able to flee from Europe on a boat, going from Portugal to New York. Mane then got married and made his way to Alaska, where he first lived in Fairbanks.
“First lives in Fairbanks until 2013, 2014, and then comes to the valley. So basically Fred is living in Alaska for over — by that time — 70 years,” Greenberg said.
He was buried in the state that served as his home for most of his life. Many people who spoke of Fred said that he had a big heart and a great will to do things.
“He was a very remarkable man and our family was very blessed to have him for as many years as we did,” his daughter Judy Schurosky said.
Mane recently moved to the valley to be closer to his family, which gave Greenberg a chance to introduce Mane back to his faith. Mane once said he’d become disconnected from his faith, but in recent years he reconnected with Greenberg who says he was “embracing his Jewish identity and celebrating his Judaism proudly and freely.”
“He was sitting with them and said, ‘You know, I think my parents would be very proud of me if they could see me like this,’ and I told Fred that the Nazis maybe were able to destroy the bodies, to exterminate the bodies, of his parents and of millions more. But the soul is eternal, the soul is everlasting, and the soul is everywhere,” Greenberg said.
Although it was a sad day for relatives and friends, many took peace in the fact that he passed at the age of 93. Before his passing, Mane mentioned that his parents would have wanted a Jewish funeral, where the body is returned to the earth. Mane chose to have both of his parents’ names put on his gravestone so it would also bring a final rest to his parents, who were not given the choice.
“He is in a wonderful place with my mom and his parents and all of his relatives that have gone before him,” Schurosky said.
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