He celebrated his 100th birthday in May this year. Felix Kolmer died last Friday in his native city of Prague. This means that the EVZ Foundation has lost both a founding father and a long-standing companion.
Born on May 3, 1922, he was deported to Theresienstadt after the German troops marched into Prague in 1941. In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz and from there to the Friedland camp, an annex of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. He managed to escape just before the arrival of the Red Army.
After his return, Felix Kolmer studied physics in Prague and qualified as a lecturer in 1965. He lectured at the Prague Film School FAMU until the age of 95.
Felix Kolmer was involved as part of the Czech delegation in the negotiations on payments for former NS forced laborers, which in turn led to the establishment of the EVZ Foundation. He worked tirelessly to preserve the remembrance: whether as vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee or as a historical eyewitness in front of school classes talking about his persecution. He received numerous awards, including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for his commitment as a bridge builder between Czech and German citizens.
We will miss his voice, his advice as well as his humanity.