Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Florida man who forgave Nazi guard may have invented his Holocaust story

(JTA) — Moshe Peter Loth made headlines in November when he hugged defendant Bruno Dey during his trial in Hamburg, Germany. Loth is a Florida man who identified as a Holocaust survivor, and Dey is a former concentration camp guard.

“Watch out everyone, I’m going to forgive him,” Loth, 76, said as he approached Dey, who admits to having been a guard at the Stutthof camp near Gdansk, which today is in Poland.

But Loth may have exaggerated his story — he was born into a Christian family and was likely never in a camp.

Loth has told journalists over the years that his grandmother and mother were both imprisoned in the camp, turned in by his own grandfather, whom he described as a Nazi. Loth also claimed to have received information from the Red Cross that he was born in the camp.

According to information provided to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by four major Holocaust archives, the woman Loth identified as his mother — Helene Anna Flood — was released from the camp one month after she was taken there, and several months before Loth was born.

Loth told his story to a Germany-based missionary group in 2005, and to an online publication, the Othello Outlook, in 2012. It was also mentioned in an autobiography, “Peace by Piece,” written with Sandra Kellog Rath.

Loth, who had submitted documents to Yad Vashem claiming his grandmother died in a gas chamber in Stutthof, has spoken at Holocaust memorial ceremonies about his past and has been introduced as a Holocaust survivor with Jewish roots.

Spiegel magazine reported late last month that Loth was born into a Protestant German family near Gdansk. His grandmother died in 1943, but not in a Nazi camp.

Loth’s attorney told Spiegel that Loth was under the impression that his grandmother had died in the camp, and would be correcting his witness testimony to Yad Vashem.

As a co-plaintiff in Dey’s case, Loth had been allowed to question Dey, who repeated his testimony that he had not volunteered to be a guard in Stutthof and that he was shocked by what had happened there.

In 2015, Auschwitz survivor Eva Mozes Kor publicly forgave former SS guard Oskar Gröning at his trial in the District Court of Lüneburg. Kor, a Romanian-born U.S. citizen who died last July at 85, urged Gröning to set an example by publicly denouncing neo-Nazi activity.

The press office of the Hamburg-based prosecutor’s office told JTA in an e-mail that “the trial against Mr. Dey is neither suspended nor dismissed. It will continue as scheduled.”


  • Events

    Haart to Haart


    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.