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Samuel Pisar, one of the youngest Holocaust survivors, dies aged 86

Jacques Demarthon, AFP file picture | Polish-born American lawyer, author, and Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar and his wife Judith at the Paris city hall on October 2, 2012

American lawyer and writer Samuel Pisar, one of the youngest Holocaust survivors and former advisor to US President John F. Kennedy, has died in New York aged 86.


>>> Samuel Pisar gave his final interview to France 24 last January. Click here to watch <<<

Tributes poured in from world leaders on news of his death on Monday.

US Vice President Joe Biden called him a "courageous and remarkable man" who overcame a childhood lost to the Holocaust to become a trusted friend and advisor to presidents.

France's President Francois Hollande also paid tribute to Pisar, who was deported at the age of 13 to Majdanek, then Auschwitz and Dachau, where he was freed at 16.

"To ensure that the blood spilled became, in his words 'blood of hope', Samuel Pisar dedicated his life to the pressing task of passing down what he had experienced," said Hollande.

Pisar was "one of the rare very well-known survivors, along with Elie Wiesel and Simone Veil," said French Jewish community leader Roger Cukierman, who said he had lost "a friend."

After the war, Pisar became a celebrated academic and international lawyer and in the 1960s served as a trade advisor to Kennedy.

He was a friend to French presidents Francois Mitterrand and Valery Giscard d'Estaing. His stepson is US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Biden said Pisar's memoir, "Of Blood and Hope," "should be required reading."

Born in Poland in 1929, Pisar's parents and younger sister Frieda were murdered by the Nazis, while he was sent to a string of Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz and Dachau.

Reunited with an aunt in Paris after the war, he went on to study law in Australia, and earn doctorates from Harvard and the Sorbonne.


Samuel Pisar gave his final interview to FRANCE 24 in January.

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