- Associated Press - Monday, September 18, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A 102-year-old Maine resident and Holocaust survivor has died.

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2xgnybQ ) Kurt Messerschmidt died Tuesday at a Portland hospital, 72 years after surviving a “death march” toward the end of World War II.

Messerschmidt was a leader in the local Jewish community. He led choir groups and taught music programs at Temple Beth El before retiring in 1985.

He married his wife, Sonja, in 1944 while they were prisoners at a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.

The two were separated by the Nazis but reunited at a refugee center in Germany months after the war ended. Sonja Messerschmidt died in 2010.

A lifelong musician, Messershmidt told the newspaper in 2004 he “presented the beauty of what they (the Nazis) tried to destroy.”

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