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Auschwitz Survivor And Soldier Who Saved Her Celebrate Their 72nd Valentine’s Day Together

By - 14th February 2018

97-year-old John Mackay and 93-year-old Edith Steiner may have met in the worst of circumstances, but their love triumphed in the end. They are now celebrating their 72nd Valentines Day together, proving that true love really exists

John and Edith met in the midst of the second world war, where Edith was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp and John was a Scottish soldier. John was in the ranks of a commando team that liberated Jewish prisoners from the Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Amongst those he rescued was 20-year-old Edith.

Edith and her mother were facing execution as they were marched to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, after a hellish 6 weeks in Auschwitz. However, before they got to the execution camp, John and his fellow soldiers freed the prisoners. It was at a village dance to celebrate their liberation that John and Edith first noticed each other.

Feeling shy, John sent a friend to ask Edith to dance with him, but Edith insisted that John come over and ask her himself. Plucking up his courage, he asked Edith to dance and they spent the evening dancing the night away together.

John, himself, had been captured in the early time of the war in Tobruk in North Africa, but he managed to escape an Italian prisoner of war camp by dressing as an Italian soldier. Edith and her mother were the only members of her family to survive the Holocaust.

Their whirlwind romance resulted in Edith and her mother moving to Scotland with John and the couple were married on July 17th 1946. Ever since then, they have been ‘wholly dedicated’ to one another.

John and Edith moved to Pitlochry in Scotland and owned a hotel there, whilst raising two children. 72 years later, they now have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and live in a retirement home together.

Their devotion to one another is clear to anyone who spends even a short time in their company. It’s lovely to have such a real example of true love with us at the home.

The couple spent last year marking Valentines Day with a party, and hopefully, they are celebrating just as happily this year.

A care worker at their retirement home said that “John is a true gentleman. He’s always checking in to make sure Edith is happy and the pair still refer to each other as ‘sweetheart’.”

After years of being madly in love and dedicated to each other, John and Edith have a tip to all young lovers. They say that you should be romantic all year round and not just on Valentines Day to keep the love alive.

Well after 72 years of true love, I think they are the best people to be giving romantic advice. I hope we all get to experience a love like theirs.

Share John and Edith’s love story with your friends and remember to be romantic all year round, not just on February 14th. 🐝