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Home News Law Society presents honorary LLD to Holocaust survivor Max Eisen

Law Society presents honorary LLD to Holocaust survivor Max Eisen

November 24, 2020

At the November 27, 2020 Convocation meeting the Law Society will present a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) to author, speaker, Holocaust survivor and educator Tibor “Max” Eisen.

You can view the webcast on-demand. The presentation to Mr. Eisen begins at the 1:14 mark.

The Law Society awards honorary doctorates each year to distinguished individuals in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice.

“I am honored to be able to confirm the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa upon Max Eisen, in recognition of his tireless dedication to sharing with Canadians of all ages his experience and the lessons to be learned from it as a survivor of the Holocaust,” said Teresa Donnelly, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario. “Having bravely testified in Germany at the trial of two former Auschwitz guards and for over 20 years bringing Holocaust education to schools, governments, and community leaders, he has demonstrated his commitment to justice and rule of law that serves as a model for us all.”

Mr. Eisen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family with two brothers and a baby sister in Moldava, Czechoslovakia. When he was 10 years old, Hungary occupied Slovakia and eventually in 1944, his family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau where most of them were immediately murdered in gas chambers.

Mr. Eisen, his father and uncle worked as slave labourers, but two months later his father and uncle were selected for experiments and were never seen again. Mr. Eisen survived the Auschwitz labour camp in part due to the heroism of a member of the Polish resistance Dr. Tadeusz Orzeszko, who took pity on him and hired him to work in the surgery.

He managed to survive the death march in January 1945 to Mauthausen, Melk and Ebensee. He was liberated by the American 761st Black Panther Tank Battalion on May 6, 1945. Eventually he returned to Czechoslovakia where he spent three years in an orphanage.

Mr. Eisen arrived at Quebec City in October 1949 and eventually moved to Toronto where he has lived since. He married Ivy Cosman, with whom he has two children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

As an active participant in March of the Living – an annual educational program which brings students from the around the world to Poland to march silently from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Memorial Day – Mr. Eisen has made this journey with thousands of students, 18 times.

His memoirs By Chance Alone detail his experiences as a concentration camp survivor. He continues to travel throughout Canada and abroad giving talks about his life to students and teachers and the community at large. More information about Mr. Eisen can be found on his website.

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