Holocaust Survivor and Soldier Who Rescued Her Celebrated Their 71st Valentines Day Together

By | August 1, 2017

During the Second World War John's elite unit liberated Jewish female prisoners, among them his wife-to-be Edith, from a work unit just East from the notorious Auschwitz camp.

Edith Steiner, now 92, was 20 years old when she and her mother were sent to the concentration camp. They were in the camp for six whole weeks and were the only members of their family to survive. The rest were immediately sent to the gas chambers.

That very same time, John Mackay, now 96, was in the ranks of a commando team that was able to liberate a substantial number of Jewish prisoners from the said camp.

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, their incredible story will live on forever as a heartwarming reminder of what true love really is.