Moshe Sanbar died

It is with great sorrow that the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site has learnt of the passing of Moshe Sanbar, who died in Tel Aviv on October 1 at the age of 86.

Moshe Sanbar grew up under the name of “Gusztáv Sandberg” in a Jewish family in the Hungarian town of Kecskemét. Soon after German troops occupied Hungary in March 1944, his father was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to various concentration camps; he died in the same year. Along with the Jewish population of Kecskemét, his mother was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there. Moshe Sanbar was drafted into the labor service which the Hungarian collaborationist government had introduced for Jewish men; in November 1944 however, Sanbar’s unit was transferred to the German occupiers. The SS sent Moshe Sanbar to the Dachau concentration camp and from there to the Mühldorf subcamp. Due to the appalling conditions Sanbar contracted typhus; as US troops liberated the camp he was completely emaciated. Moshe Sanbar had to receive treatment for almost a year before he could return to Hungary.

Sanbar began studying economics at the University of Budapest but discontinued his studies in 1948 to immigrate to Palestine, at the time still under British mandate administration. Sanbar fought in the Israeli War of Independence and was severely wounded. Following his recovery in 1949 he resumed his studies and soon emerged as one of Israel’s leading economists, ultimately assuming the post of Governor of the Bank of Israel and then chairing a governmental commission on municipal affairs under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (known as the Sanbar Commission).

Upon retiring in 1987, with enormous dedication Sanbar worked for organizations concerned with the benefit of Holocaust survivors, becoming, to name just one example, chairman of the Umbrella Organization for Holocaust Survivors in Israel.

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