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Kazimierz Smoleń letters

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1991.151

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    Consists of two letters written in German by Kazimierz Smoleń while he was a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp to his mother, Helene Smolen, Chorzów, Poland (Königshütte). Smoleń’s letters report on his health, inquire about loved ones, and convey gratitude for greetings, packages, and money he received. Smoleń was one of the earliest Polish political prisoners to arrive at Auschwitz, where he was given prisoner number 1327; he was later a co-founder and director of the Auschwitz State Museum.
    creation:  1941 January 12-1943 July 04
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
    Collection Creator
    Kazmierz Smoleń
    Kazimierz Smoleń (1920-2012) was born on April 19, 1920 in Chorzów, Poland. On April 15, 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo for underground activities. On July 6, 1940, he was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in one of the first transports of Polish political prisoners. Smoleń was assigned the number 1327 and housed in block 3a. He was assigned to a construction work gang and later to the camp’s administration office. He could speak and type German, so he worked as a writer in the political section. This entailed compiling lists of prisoner arrivals, issuing identification numbers, and keeping records and receipts. On January 17 or 18, 1945 he was sent on a death march to the Mauthausen sub-camp Ebensee. He was liberated from the Ebensee concentration camp on May 6, 1945. After the war, Smoleń studied law at the Catholic University in Lublin and worked at the Main Commission for Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland for several years. He served as a witness and expert in the trials against Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg and Frankfurt am Main. He was co-founder as well as director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim in the years 1955-1990. He was also long-time secretary general and deputy chairman of the International Auschwitz Council. He died on January 27, 2012 in Oświęcim, Poland.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Kazimierz Smoleń letters are arranged chronologically.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    Kazimierz Smoleń donated the Kazimierz Smoleń letters to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-25 10:21:04
    This page:

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