David Dushman was north of Auschwitz when his Red Army commander was ordered to the camp. At 96 years old - He is one of the few remaining soldiers who freed the camp. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) AUSCHWITZ DEATH CAMP LIBERATOR, DAVID DUSHMAN, SAYING: "When we arrived we saw the fence and these unfortunate people, we broke through the fence with our tanks. We gave food to the prisoners and continued. The 1st Ukrainian Front looked after the rest." (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSCHWITZ DEATH CAMP LIBERATOR, DAVID DUSHMAN, SAYING: "They (the prisoners) were standing there, all of them in (prisoner) uniforms, only eyes, only eyes, very narrow - that was very terrible, very terrible. And I hope, that this will never (happen) again in life." More than a million men, women and children lost their lives in Auschwitz. Built by the Nazis in occupied Poland, Auschwitz was custom made for extermination. But it was much later that David Dushman understood the truth about where he had been. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) AUSCHWITZ DEATH CAMP LIBERATOR, DAVID DUSHMAN, SAYING: "We didn't know that Auschwitz existed. In Russian it's called "Osventsim" We didn't know (about it). When saw it. When I was in Germany for the first time, I watched a German movie, about Buchenwald, that was really terrible. We didn't know that. What did we see? We were in tanks, what could we see?" A Jew himself - Dushman was no stranger to adversity (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) AUSCHWITZ DEATH CAMP LIBERATOR, DAVID DUSHMAN, SAYING: "I frequently wasn't allowed abroad because I had two stigmas. Firstly, I was Jewish, secondly, I was a son of an Enemy of the people. My father, who was one of the first recipients of the Order of the Red Banner during the war, during the Revolution, he was repressed and in 1938 and sent to a (labour) camp." Dushman was one of only 69 men in his 12,000-strong column of tanks to survive the war, he was so badly injured that he had to have part of one lung removed. But that didn't hold him back from becoming a professional fencer. He later became a member of the Olympic fencing team in Munich. Where he has lived since 1996. Dushman may have forged a new life but three quarters of a century later- what he saw remains with him. Most of his Red Army comrades however, are all gone.
- Sports The Independent
Once again Conor McGregor has been linked with boxing, with famous boxers in fantasy fights, gates of a billion dollars and in the rich glow of victory comes the absurdity of assumptions.McGregor is the most complex of characters with assaults, abuse and various lunatic claims but with them a story of survival, of having nothing, of desolation and rejection in the Dublin fighter’s life.He changed his life forever with his fists, feet and shoulders, took over the UFC business, sold out arenas all over the world and on Saturday night in Las Vegas he won a fight for the first time in over three years. It took just 40 seconds to beat Donald Cerrone, the fallen cowboy in the script, and before the blood had been cleared from the loser’s mangled face, the fairy tale makers had McGregor strapping on gloves to fight boxers. I thought he had some unfinished business in the UFC. Silly me.In the summer of 2017 McGregor switched codes, fought with dignity at times in a blatant ram-raid on boxing when he was stopped in ten rounds by Floyd Mayweather; it confirmed what we knew - McGregor can box, had fought as a boy in Dublin, but was just too raw even for an old, unmotivated Mayweather. He also made over $60million and there are bold claims that taking care of the Cowboy paid even better.McGregor’s last win in any code - assuming whacking a fifty-year-old geezer in a bar does not count - was in November 2016. It says a lot about Brand McGregor that one win can instantly salvage a career. Cerrone, incidentally, completed a hat-trick of quick defeats, two in the first, one in the second when he lost. Now, I know the UFC is unsparing in it’s matchmaking, has no protection policy, but three losses should not in any combat sport be the basis for any statements, but in McGregorland, a fun place for sure with blurred boundaries, it is somehow good enough.In the aftermath, which with just under 20,000 in the T-Mobile was sure to be lively, the matchmakers went to work, ignoring facts, weight, history and any sense of perspective. There is talk of a return with Mayweather, who is now 42 and has not fought since beating McGregor. The stoppage that night was Mayweather’s first in six years and eight fights. However, a rematch is surely being discussed and that is because just about anything is possible in Floyd’s playground, an equally odd place of excesses and no excuses.The other name is Manny Pacquiao, still active at 41, but there are real issues. On Saturday McGregor weighed 170 pounds, nearly 25 pounds heavier than Pacquiao weighed for his last fight in July, at welterweight for the WBA title. Pacquiao won, beating the previously unbeaten Keith Thurman - those statistics belong in a galaxy of sanity a long, long way from the record of hope the Cowboy entered the Octagon with. The ancient Pacquiao might just need less than 40 seconds to end McGregor’s next boxing outing; Manny is understandably interested.Going forward, when the branded whisky bottles have been cleared, the bars in Las Vegas fallen silent and the cash totals divided, it would be nice if there was a sense of perspective attached to all the boxing plans and schemes of McGregor, his backers and the industry he has wonderfully fashioned. The reality of McGregor in the boxing business, where the cult of popularity is still currency, is that he can fight and lose to old, old men, but would still not win a British or Irish title in the ring. And, if he met any of the champions at his weight and age he would get badly hurt. Still, the crazy talk is a lot of fun.