Boris Pahor


Boris Pahor could have died at any point in the past half-century and it would have been a remarkable feat in light of what he survived to get there, let alone making it to a grand old 108. Born in Italy to a Slovene community, his experiences as a minority amidst the rise of Mussolini exposed him to the horrors of fascism. Slovene culture was eradicated – books burned, the language banned, names Italianised. His early trauma hardened him into a committed opponent of fascism who discretely practiced his mother tongue and enlisted in Slovene resistance groups during WWII. A Nazi-affiliated Slovene group caught wind of him and handed him to Nazi Germany, where he experienced countless horrors in five different concentration camps. Pahor only survived by utilising his knowledge of multiple languages to work as a translator.

The visions of executions and the stench of the crematorium were forever seared into Pahor’s mind, which he detailed in his praised, unflinching 1967 autobiography Necropolis. Italy continued to stigmatise Slovene culture for decades, and Pahor remained largely unknown in his homeland despite attaining grand respect in Slovenia. His friend Evgen Bavčar correctly predicted that the domino would not fall until his works were first published in German and French – Italy finally relented and published Necropolis in 2007. The oldest living Holocaust survivor until his death, Pahor received the BBC doc treatment a couple of years ago. To the end, Boris Pahor was a passionate guard of his culture and opponent of evil. 5 teams picked him, with Bucket Kickers 79 gaining joker points.

Boris Pahor
26 August 1913 – 30 May 2022, aged 108
5 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀 4 POINTS, 🃏 (x1) 8 POINTS)