When 23-year-old John Mackay saved 20-year-old Edith Steiner from Auschwitz in 1944, neither were to know that they’d spend the rest of their lives together.
John, who once escaped from an Italian prisoner of war camp in Tobruk, Libya, after impersonating an Italian soldier, was part of a Scottish commando unit that liberated Edith, known as Eci, and many others from the daily horrors of the concentration camp. They faced regular threat of execution and they were also at the camp at the same time as Josef Mengele AKA The Angel of Death, a notorious SS officer and physician renowned for his sadistic experiments. Edith, who was born in the Székesfehérvár region of Hungary, lost 39 members of her family during the holocaust, and only she and her mother survived.
At a dance to celebrate the liberation, John asked a friend to ask Edith if she would dance with him, but she sent his friend back with the message that she would only accept the invitation if it came from John himself. Plucking up the courage to approach her, that first dance was the beginning of a love story that would last over 70 years. They married on July 17, 1946, and after returning to Scotland, Edith and John owned the Atholl Arms Hotel in Pitlochry before retiring to Dundee. They also had two children, Sharon and Peter. The couple made headlines earlier this year after celebrating their 71st Valentine’s Day together, but three weeks before their wedding anniversary, Edith sadly passed away aged 92 with John right by her side. Although she’s no longer with us however, their incredible story will live on forever as a heartwarming reminder of what true love really is. (h/t: vintageeveryday)
John Mackay saved Edith Steiner from Auschwitz in 1944
Little did they know that they would spend the rest of their lives together
John, who was a soldier, liberated Edith and many others from the concentration camp
At a dance to celebrate the liberation, John asked a friend to ask Edith if she would dance with him
She sent his friend back with the message that she would only accept the invitation if it came from John
John found the courage to ask her himself
That first dance was the beginning of a love story that would last over 70 years