Antoni Dobrowolski, World’s Oldest Auschwitz Survivor, Dies At 108
The world’s oldest known survivor of the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau died over the weekend at the age of 108.
According to Poland’s PolskaTimes newspaper, Antoni Dobrowolski, who was arrested and sent to Auschwitz in 1942, passed away Sunday in the northwestern Polish town of Debno.
Born October 8, 1904, Dobrowolski was apprehend by the Gestapo for teaching classes during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland, when anything beyond four years of elementary education was prohibited.
FOX News points out that at the time, the move was an attempt to crush Polish culture and the country’s intelligentsia by the Germans, who considered the Poles inferior beings.
Despite the ban, an underground group continued to teach children, and anyone caught was immediately sent to a concentration camp. Antoni
Dobrowolski was one of those Poles that attempted to fight back against the oppressive regime, and he was part of a movement to teach children using Poland’s own traditional education system.
After spending a few years at Auschwitz, Dobrowolski later moved to the concentration camps of Gross-Rosen and Sachsenhausen.
He was liberated by the Russians from Sachsenhausen in 1945.
“[It] was worse than Dante’s hell,” Dobrowolski is quoted as saying of Auschwitz concentration camp.
Wikipedia notes that some 1.3 million people died at Auschwitz, around 90 percent of them Jewish.
After the war, he moved to Debno, where he worked as a Polish-language teacher and as principal at an elementary school and later at a high school for many years.
HuffPo writes that he will be buried in Debno on Wednesday.