Another life cut tragically short by the Nazis

George Preston, 92; survived Holocaust

George Edward Preston, 92, who survived the Holocaust and afterward came to America, where he thrived, died of multiple organ failure Wednesday at home. He lived in Hyde Park near Wilmington.


Mr. Preston was born Grisza Priszkulnik on March 31, 1914, in Rovno, in what was then the Russian province of Volhynia, now Rivne, Ukraine. One of two sons of a successful businessman, he studied engineering at Polish universities in Warsaw and Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) until 1935, when he fled to France to escape anti-Semitism in Poland. He earned a master’s degree in engineering in 1937 from the University of Caen.

When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, Mr. Preston was working for an engineering firm in Lille. He was arrested in 1942 and was a prisoner for almost three years. The number 160581 was tattooed on his left forearm at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was among skilled prisoners who worked for Siemens-Schuckert (now Siemens AG).

By January 1945, the Allies were marching across Europe and Mr. Preston was relocated to Buchenwald, a concentration camp near Weimar, Germany. He weighed 80 pounds when he was liberated on April 11, 1945.



Gayle Ronan Sims
Inquirer Staff Writer
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