John Mackay, 96, met his wife of 71 years, Eci Mackay, 91, at a displaced persons camp in Germany back in 1945.

Eci had miraculously survived with her mother Edith for six weeks at one of WW2’s worst extermination camps Auschwitz.  Thirty-nine of their family members were killed by Nazi soldiers.  Fortunately Eci and her mother were rescued by a group of Russian soldiers.

As the lone survivors of their Jewish family, Eci and Edith found temporary living arrangements at the displaced persons camp, where weekly dances would take place.  It was at one of these dances where 19 year old Eci met John, a soldier in the London Scottish 1st Battalion, who was deployed in Germany.  “It was love at first sight,” John recalls. “It was her beautiful looks and smile that caught my eye.” 

The couple were married a year later in 1946 and moved to Scotland.  They had two children and now live in Balcarres Care Home in Dundee, where they will celebrate their 71st Valentine’s Day together.   

“We make our love work by loving each other and our beautiful family,” says John. “And we are romantic all the time, not just on special occasions!”

John continued and made it a point to say that their trick to a long, happy life together has been to make every day as special as Valentine’s Day.


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