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Rudy Kennedy (October 27, 1927 – November 10, 2008) was a British rocket scientist, Holocaust survivor, and a protester for Jewish causes. He spent a substantial period of his youth in German concentration camps of Auschwitz, Mittelbau-Dora, and Bergen-Belsen. After liberation, he worked as a rocket scientist and led the campaign for compensation for the survivors of the German policy of "extermination through labour".[1]

Early life[edit]

Kennedy was born on October 24, 1927 in Rosenberg (now Olesno, Poland), a place near Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). He was six years of age when Hitler was elected and had to face antisemitism and physical attacks from other boys when he went to school, as he was the only Jewish boy in class. After fighting back against boys from the school who had attacked him, Kennedy's father then enrolled him to an all-Jewish school in Breslau. Rudy's whole family, which consisted of his father (Ewalt), mother and a younger sister (Kaitie), were moved to the ghetto in Breslau in 1939. By 1941, Kennedy started working as an electrician with his father.

Rudy's family was forcibly relocated by the Schutzstaffel (SS) to Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. At his father's direction, he lied about his age at the concentration camp—claiming to be 18 years of age although he was just 15. His sister and mother were immediately sent to a gas chamber and killed, while Rudy and his father were employed for work. Rudy's father was sent to IG Farben rubber factory, while Rudy was put to work working on building roads (where the life expectancy was 6 weeks at most). Rudy's father managed to get him a job in the IG Farben factory where he quickly identified a fault with an electrical system and was kept on to work indoors working for Siemens. Two months later, Rudy's father was killed by the SS when he collapsed due to exhaustion and was deemed "unfit for work", sent to the camp hospital and given a phenol injection. Rudy endured cruel beatings at work and realized that he too would be killed if his work wasn't good enough.[2]

As the Soviet Red Army approached, the SS evacuated the camp in January 1945. Rudy was sent to Mittelbau-Dora to work in a missile factory where he joined a group of prisoners who tried to hinder the production by urinating or throwing sand into the rocket guidance systems.[3] In April 1945 he was sent to Bergen-Belsen where he was deprived of food and survived only by eating grass. Though the British liberated the camp, they didn't know what to do with the thousands of diseased prisoners, but they didn't want them to go out and mix with the general population. Rudy escaped from the camp with 5 other inmates and they made their way to Hannover.

He married Gitti and had two surviving children (Katie and Steve) at the time of his death.[1]

Post-World War II career as a rocket scientist[edit]

Rudy emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1946. He attended college and started working for English Electric as a rocket scientist. He left the company to participate in a joint venture in rocketry and medical engineering with Rolf Schild and Peter Epstein, giving birth to Huntleigh Electronics, a £200 million company. Rudy setup his own company, named Digital Electronics in the 1970s. After selling Digital Electronics, he worked as a board member of Roche Pharmaceuticals.[1]

Campaign[edit]

Rudy founded Association of Claims for Jewish Slave Labour Compensation[2] and led the campaign in the 1990s that put pressure on German companies that had co-operated with the Nazi's "Extermination through labor" program to admit responsibility and pay reparations to those who had been forced to work as slave laborers. A BBC Storyville documentary, I Was a Slave Labourer followed the progress of the campaign.[4] Among the companies accused of complicit with the Nazi policy and targeted by the campaign were IG Farben, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz. The campaign group were approached by a firm of class-action lawyers who held that they could obtain damages in the US courts against the companies who were complicit with the Nazi policy. The lawsuit saw only partial success for the plaintiffs; the companies agreed to pay a maximum of £5,000 to each survivor for their sufferings in the concentration camps as "a goodwill gesture" without any legal responsibility to do so. Some of the American lawyers who originally promised to act free of charge, accepted millions of dollars for themselves. Kennedy was dissatisfied with the deal and continued campaigning, speaking at public meetings and protesting at IG Farben shareholder meetings until he started suffering from Alzheimer's.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Rudy Kennedy: Holocaust survivor, scientist and campaigner". London: Times Online. March 3, 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Rudy Kennedy". Imperial War Museum, London. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Cowan, Rex (March 8, 2009). "Lives remembered: Rudy Kennedy, Joan Turner and Sir Charles Gordon". The Times (London). Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "I WAS A SLAVE LABOURER". BBC Storyville. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Kennedy — Please support Wikipedia.
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81913 videos foundNext > 

Jewish Survivor Rudy Kennedy Testimony

You are watching Rudy Kennedy, a Jewish Survivor from the Holocaust. To learn more about Rudy, and explore the stories of other Holocaust survivors and witne...

Jewish Survivor Rudy Kennedy Testimony Part 2

You are watching Rudy Kennedy, a Jewish Survivor from the Holocaust. To learn more about Rudy, and explore the stories of other Holocaust survivors and witne...

Jewish Survivor Rudy Kennedy Testimony Part 2

You are watching Rudy Kennedy, a Jewish Survivor from the Holocaust. To learn more about Rudy, and explore the stories of other Holocaust survivors and witne...

Levi Lucero- When it comes down to it, it's me an Rudy Kennedy in the cage, taking care of Business

8 days away from Combat Extreme "Rumble at the Ranch" Levi Lucero joined me to talk about facing Rudy Kennedy, being on a bull riding an MMA event, and also ...

Rudy fights and wins NO MERCY!

Rudy Kennedy vs Nick Mcnulte! great fight.Rudy is fighting for Gallup NM and fighting with NO MERCY! gets the win first round with rear necked choke!KING OF ...

Kennedy McKinney vs. Rudy Zavala 7/17/1993

Kennedy McKinney (23-0-1) making the second defense of the IBF Jr. Featherweight title against Rudy Zavala (21-1-2) on July 17, 1993 at The Pyramid in Memphi...

Paul Reed Smith And Myles Kennedy At Rudy's Music Stop

http://www.paulreedsmithmusic.com/ Paul Reed Smith and Myles Kennedy do a guitar clinic at Rudy's Music Stop.

Rudy Giuliani honors James Levine at Kennedy Center

Caitlin Kennedy-rudy layout kickout

summer 2008.

These Boots by Rudy and Kennedy

kids having a blast!!

81913 videos foundNext > 

7 news items

 
al.com
Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:14:27 -0700

Poynter-Flott.jpg View full sizeGinger Poynter, left, and Darren Flott have qualified to run for office as independents in November 2014. Poynter will challenge Baldwin County District Judge Michelle Thomason, while Flott faces state Rep. Napoleon ...
 
The Birmingham News - al.com
Tue, 06 May 2014 15:27:34 -0700

Rudy Kennedy, accented by bold and shiny green bow tie and vest; Baldwin County High School prom. Myles Pierce in fresh, dapper gray and white, with perfectly placed boutonniere;Bayside Academy prom. Mac Braswell in a splendid Scotsman ensemble, ...
 
al.com
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:15:01 -0700

Rudy Kennedy, accented by bold and shiny green bow tie and vest; Baldwin County High School prom (6/21). 3. Myles Pierce in fresh, dapper gray and white, with perfectly placed boutonniere; Bayside Academy prom (4/21). Please peruse the gallery at the ...
 
The Birmingham News - al.com
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:04:56 -0700

Rudy Kennedy (Baldwin County High School prom) 6/21 26.04% (212 votes). Myles Pierce (Bayside Academy prom) 4/21 12.78% (104 votes). Bien Harbin (Faith Academy prom) 21/21 10.57% (86 votes). Dylan Calhoun (Mary G. Montgomery prom) 8/21 ...
 
Press-Register - al.com (blog)
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 09:52:30 -0700

DARAward.jpg The Zachariah Godbold Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, recently presented awards to students from Baldwin County High School. On hand for the presentation included, from left, Susan McCaw, Kaila McCaw, ...
 
McCook Daily Gazette
Mon, 13 Jul 2009 10:19:39 -0700

Rudy Kennedy of Indianola takes a dive, above, into the muddy Republican during Holbrook Days' annual "River Rat Volleyball" tournament Sunday afternoon. Team mates slogging through shin-deep river water included Bunny Skaritka, left, Hillery Kennedy ...
 
Nowa Trybuna Opolska
Fri, 29 May 2009 03:00:16 -0700

Przeczytaj więcej. Rzeź chrześcijan. Codziennie ginie ich prawie pół tysiąca · Historia hrabiny Muriel White i jej kucharki Balbiny Jenek - gotowy sceniariusz na film · Zmarł Rudy Kennedy - oleski świadek Holokaustu · KONKURS! Wygraj ekspres SodaStream!
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