Shoah survivor, 94 and leading rabbi, 43, among European Covid-19 victims

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Shoah survivor, 94 and leading rabbi, 43, among European Covid-19 victims

Hanover's Chabad leader Rabbi Binyamin Wolff and Auschwitz survivor Henri Kichka succumbed to the virus

Rabbi Wolff
Rabbi Wolff

A Holocaust survivor in Belgium and a leading 43-year old father-of-eight Chabad rabbi in Germany were among the latest coronavirus victims after another grim week for Jewish communities around the world.

Rabbi Binyamin Wolff, a Chabad leader in Hanover, died on Friday night, leaving behind a wife and eight young children, while Auschwitz survivor Henri Kichka, 94, died of Covid-19 in a Brussels care home on Saturday.

His son Michel Kichka wrote on Facebook that “a small microscopic coronavirus has succeeded where the entire Nazi army had failed,” adding: “My father had survived the Death March, but today his Life March has ended.”

Rabbi Wolff was described as “extremely successful as a shaliach [leader] in Hanover and over the years” who “managed to make a complete turnabout in the Jewish identity of the lives of many Jews in the city”.

Rabbi Shmuli Brown took to social media to say “we will not leave the Wolff family alone”, sharing a fundraising link which has so far raised  £782,825 (€898,354).

Last week the virus killed Benjamin Levin, the last surviving member of the Avengers, a group led by Abba Kovner, who planned revenge for the Holocaust by killing six million Germans by way of poisoning several cities’ water supplies.

Levin, 93, joined a militant group fighting the Nazis in his native Lithuania aged 14, and later joined the Irgun terrorist group fighting the British authorities in the late 1940s. He died last week in New York.

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