Holocaust survivor and local sculptor Alfred Tibor dies at age 97

Alfred Tibor speaks with NBC4 in 2012.

BEXLEY (WCMH) — Alfred Tibor, a Holocaust survivor who became well-known for his work as a sculptor, has died. He was 97.

His obituary is posted on Epstein Memorial Chapel’s website. 

Tibor was born Alfred Goldstein in 1920.

As the only Jewish boy in a Hungarian village, he learned early of the world’s discrimination, and of ways to escape it.

“I found a piece of metal, a quarter-inch thick rod, and I put it and I made a high bar from it on two trees, with the v. I put on the high bar, and I started to swing around myself,” Alfred said in an interview with NBC4’s Ben Gelber in 2012.

At the age of 16, the self-taught gymnast qualified for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but was disqualified when they found out he was Jewish.

In 1940 during World War II, Alfred was drafted into a German forced labor battalion, then captured by the Russians as a prisoner of war.

During those five years, nearly his entire family was killed in Auschwitz — victims of the Holocaust.

“That was my turning point in my life,” he said in his 2012 interview with NBC4.

The turning point led him to flee for the United States. Eventually, he landed in Columbus, the place he credits with allowing him to live out his dreams as an artist. He has artwork at several locations in Central Ohio.

“All of my pieces, whatever you see, everywhere is dealing with humanity,” he said.

In 1996, he was one of the carriers of the Olympic torch. NBC4’s Cabot Rea passed the torch off to him. 

A funeral service will be held Monday, March 20, at Congregation Agudas Achim in Bexley.

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