Two months after Ralph Hakman walked through the infamous gates of the Auschwitz death camp for the fourth time since its liberation 75 years prior, he passed away at his home in Los Angeles.
The Holocaust survivor, born Rachmil Hakman in Poland, was 94 years old at the time of his death on Sunday.
Marina Amaral, a 26-year-old Brazilian artist known for her colorizations of historical black-and-white photographs, announced news of Hakman’s passing on Twitter Monday.
Amaral worked with Hakman as part of a project called Faces of Auschwitz in collaboration with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, and a team of academics, journalists and volunteers.
According to its website, ‘the goal of the project is to honor the memory and lives of Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners by colorizing registration photographs culled from the museum’s archive and sharing individual stories of those whose faces were photographed.’
Amaral tweeted that for the past year, she has been working on a documentary about Hakman and has befriended him and his family.
‘Ralph, may your Rest in Peace,’ the artist wrote. ‘You can finally leave all the suffering behind you. We love you and promise you that the whole world will hear your story. I’m sorry that we could not do this while you were here.
‘Our deepest condolences to the Hakmans during this difficult time.’
Hakman had been active for many years in the Holocaust survivor community of Southern California and often spoke publicly about his experiences during World War II, which claimed the lives of his parents and eight of his nine brothers and sisters.