Holocaust survivor Eric Heinz Cahn died September 9, 2022, at the age of 84. A private service is planned. Arrangements are being made by Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary.
Born on March 29, 1938, in Mannheim, Germany, Mr. Cahn’s family was deported to the Camp Gurs, France, detention camp in 1940. Two years later, Mr. Cahn was rescued and taken into hiding by a family in Buzancais, France. His parents were sent to Auschwitz; Mr. Cahn’s mother died there and his father survived, later moving to Leutesdorf, Germany.
Mr. Cahn was then moved to an orphanage in Paris, where in 1946 his remaining family was reunited. In 1950, Mr. Cahn and his sister Zilla immigrated to Colorado under the Displaced Persons Act.
In Denver, Mr. Cahn graduated from North High School and CU Boulder. He married his wife Jane in 1983; they remained a couple until his passing.
Mr. Cahn became a certified financial planner and had a long career in that field until retiring in 2004. At that time, he became a Holocaust educator, speaking across the US to raise Holocaust awareness.
“Eric always tried to relate his story to events currently impacting people around the world,” his family said. “His purpose was to cause people to take action to erase hate with a focus on those who have been marginalized in some way.
“He loved speaking to young people the most, and received great response from students. He would tell them:
“‘Whenever you hear a racist comment or discriminatory joke, say that’s not OK with me. And if we all do that over and over again, the world will be a better place.’”
Regarding his second career as a spokesperson, Mr. Cahn said at an appearance at DU:
“The reason [I talk] is because there are individuals out there in our country, in our state and our communities, who either try to minimize the Holocaust or deny the Holocaust.
“It’s important for me to educate middle school students, high school students and others that the Holocaust did happen, because there are ‘deniers’ out there.”
Mr. Cahn was preceded in death by his sister Zilla and daughter Michelle. Survivors are his wife Jane; sons Jeff (Barbara) Cahn and Kevin Cahn; former spouse Neva; and one grandson.
Contributions may be made to the Holocaust Awareness Institute at the University of Denver.
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