ALBANY— Richard Marowitz was just a day removed from witnessing the horrors of Dachau when he found a top hat on a shelf in a closet in Adolf Hitler’s Munich apartment.
Still furious over the gruesome sights he had seen at the nearby Nazi concentration camp, the 19-year-old self-described “skinny Jewish kid” from New York threw the black silk hat on the floor, jumped off the chair he had used to reach the item and stomped Hitler’s formal headwear until it was flat.
“I swear to this day I could see his face in it,” Marowitz told The Associated Press in a 2001 interview, recalling how he “smashed the hell out of it.”
Marowitz, who brought the souvenir back to New York after World War II ended, died this week at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Albany. His son, Larry Marowitz, told The Associated Press on Friday that his father died Wednesday after battling cancer and dementia. His death was first reported by The Times Union of Albany.