The Canadian of Czech origin survived the Theresienstadt and Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II. After moving to North America in 1951, he lectured from time to time about what he had witnessed.
The 90-year-old passed away from heart failure, according to a relative, former Czech Minister of Culture Daniel Herman.
George Brady was born in Nove Mesto, a small town in the former Czechoslovakia, in 1928. His family, reportedly the only Jewish family in town, had a comfortable middle-class life until Nazi Germany invaded the country in 1939. Brady’s parents were deported early in the war and reportedly died at Auschwitz. Aged 13, George and his younger sister were first sent to live with a Catholic uncle elsewhere in Czechoslovakia but in 1944 were sent to Auschwitz.
Assigned to the labor force in Auschwitz, George survived the camp. But his sister, Hana, died in a gas chamber there at age 13. He then returned to his uncle’s home, finished his schooling, and fled communist Czechoslovakia in 1951. After becoming a Canadian citizen, he set up a plumbing company in Toronto.
In 2016, Brady made headlines when Czech President Milos Zeman refused to award him a medal on National Day.
The experiences of the Brady family are the subject of a nonfiction children’s book published in 2002, Hana’s Suitcase, by Karen Levine. The book has been translated from English into some 20 languages.