Czesław Mordowicz

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Czesław Mordowicz (2 August 1919 – 28 October 2001) was a Polish Jew who, with Arnost Rosin, escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland on 27 May 1944, at the height of the Holocaust. A seven-page report dictated by Mordowicz and Rosin joined the Vrba-Wetzler report and a report by Jerzy Tabeau to become the Auschwitz Protocols, a detailed account of the mass murder taking place inside the Nazi German camp.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Mordowicz was born in Mlawa, Poland, to Anna Wicinska, a local actor, and her husband Herman Mordowicz, a grain merchant.[1]

World War II[edit]

After Mordowicz's escape from Auschwitz, he fled to Slovakia, arriving on 6 June 1944.[2] In August that year Slovak partisans launched an uprising against the collaborationist Slovak State, as a result of which the Germans invaded the country. Mordowicz was among those arrested. He was returned to Auschwitz, but the SS failed to recognize him, which saved his life, and he was sent to another camp, then liberated.[3] Decades later he described his efforts to warn the other passengers on the train to Auschwitz that they were being taken to their deaths and should try to jump. The passengers began shouting and banging on the doors, he told an interviewer, to which the guards responded by beating him. He then chewed off the tattoo with his prisoner number (no. 84216), hoping that the SS at Auschwitz would not be able to identify him.[4] When he arrived at Auschwitz, the tattooist recognized him and gave him a new number.[5]


  1. ^ a b Tu Thanh Ha (4 July 2018). Auschwitz escapee told the world about Nazi genocide". The Globe and Mail.
  2. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (2014). Auschwitz, the Allies and Censorship of the Holocaust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 230.
  3. ^ Świebocki, Henryk (2000) [1995]. "Escapes from the Camp". In Długoborski, Wacław; Piper, Franciszek (eds.). Auschwitz, 1940–1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp. Volume IV: The Resistance Movement. Oświęcim: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. pp. 192–235 (227–228).
  4. ^ Mordowicz, Czeslaw (24 October 1995 and 30 October 1996). "Interview with Czeslaw Mordowicz". The Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (English transcript, p. 72ff).
  5. ^ Weiss, Lotte (2010). Meine zwei Leben. Münster: Lit Verlag. p. 91.