Poland’s oldest former Auschwitz prisoner dies at 108

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 9:34am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 9:49am

Antoni Dobrowolski, who was the oldest Polish survivor of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, died at the age of 108 on Sunday, Auschwitz Museum officials said.

Dobrowolski’s son informed the museum about his father’s death, its press office said on Monday.

Dobrowolski, a former teacher, was arrested in the southern Polish city of Radom on June 6 1942, and brought to the Auschwitz death camp immediately afterwards. He was moved on to Gross-Rosen camp and finally to Sachsenhausen, where he was freed when the war ended.

Dobrowolski, who was not Jewish, was detained beause he belonged to a forbidden teachers’ organisation that flouted a Nazi ban by teaching primary school students about Polish history.

When the war ended, Dobrowolski moved to the small city of Debno, where he was for many years headmaster of a local high school.

During Nazi Germany’s second world war occupation of Poland, the Nazis killed some 1.5 million people in Auschwitz, located near the Polish village Oswiecim. Most those killed were Jewish.

The German occupation of Poland resulted in the deaths of almost 20 per cent of the population and over 90 per cent of the country’s Jewish minority.