SCOTLAND'S last Auschwitz survivor has left a lasting legacy through a £500,000 gift for scientific research.

Judith Rosenberg was born in Hungary and developed a passion for science that would help her survive the Holocaust.

Her interest in innovation remained throughout her life and before her death in January at the age of 98, she'd arranged for the six-figure sum to be left for future research at the University of Strathclyde in her adopted home town of Glasgow.

Her donation will go towards the creation of the Harold and Judith Rosenberg Chair in Quantum Technology and the Harold and Judith Rosenberg Quantum Technology Laboratories in their honour. Both are named after the donor and her Scots-born husband.

The pair met after she was liberated from the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1945 and became an interpreter for the British Army, with whom Harold served as an artillery officer.

Judith was, the university says, a "long-term friend" of the institution and had discussed her vision for how her gift should be used for the advancement of science and technological research.

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Professor Sir Jim McDonald, the university's principal and vice-chancellor, said he was "deeply saddened by her passing", adding: "I always found my meetings with Judith both inspiring and enjoyable, her unstinting interest in science and engineering was a consistent topic for our conversations.

"She was immensely interested in our research activities and achievements at Strathclyde and had expressed her desire to support the advancement of science and technology through this substantial legacy gift.

"We are delighted to honour both Judith and her late husband Harold through the creation of this new professorial position and the naming of our new laboratories. I thank them sincerely for their contribution which will help us to accelerate our progress as a leading international technological university."

The Harold and Judith Rosenberg Chair in Quantum Technology will be funded for an initial period of five years. However, given the anticipated calibre of the chair appointment, the post is expected to become self-sustaining in the longer term.

Professor Paul McKenna, head of the Department of Physics, said: "Judith Rosenberg’s bequest is extremely generous and will help us to advance quantum technology research and understanding at Strathclyde.

"The creation of this named professorial chair in recognition of the interests of Harold and Judith Rosenberg will further accelerate growth in the field, add capacity and support our vision of firmly establishing Strathclyde as an international leader in research, training and industrial-commercial development activities in quantum technology.

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"The new chair in quantum technology will have an impact on our department and university for many years to come, which will be a fitting and lasting legacy to a truly remarkable woman and her beloved husband."

Judith was born in Hungarian city Gyor in September 1922 to parents Zsigmond and Irene Weinberger. She studied at Budapest University but returned home and became an apprentice watchmaker when anti-semitic attacks on campus increased.

In April 1944 she and her family were taken to Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was separated from her father whom she never saw again, but whose last words to her saved her life — he told her that if given a choice by her Nazi captors to always choose the hardest option as they would have ulterior motives.

Following his advice, Judith was selected to work in a munitions factory in Lippstadt where her knowledge of watchmaking and physics helped her gain extra rations to share with her mother and sister Kati, thanks to mending German officers’ watches.

The three were liberated by US soldiers in April 1945 and one year later Judith married Harold in Warburg, Germany. They settled in Glasgow and enjoyed almost 60 years of marriage until Harold's death on Jewish holy day Yom Kippur in 2005.

Survived by her neice Erika Marosi, who lives in Hungary, Judith is buried in the Jewish section of Glasgow’s Western Necropolis.