Mordechaï Podchlebnik

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Michał Podchlebnik before or during World War II

Mordechaï Podchlebnik or Michał Podchlebnik (1907 – 1985)[1] was a Polish Jew who managed to survive the Holocaust. He was a member of the Sonderkommando work detail for nearly two weeks at the Chełmno extermination camp in occupied Poland.[2] Podchlebnik was one of three (or more) prisoners who escaped into the surrounding forest from the mass burial zone.[2]


He was born to a family of Jacob Podchlebnik and Sosia (Zosia) née Widawska from Koło, known also by the Polish equivalent of his first name, Michał. He witnessed the deportation of his father, mother, sister with her five children, and brother with his own wife and three children.[3] Podchlebnik became a key witnesses in 1945 at the Chełmno Trials of the former SS men from the SS Special Detachment Kulmhof.[4] Decades later in 1961 he gave testimony at the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.[5][6] Podchlebnik was also interviewed for the documentary film Shoah.[7]


  1. ^ Polen: Generalgouvernement August 1941 – 1945 (in German). 9. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 2014-01-01. p. 227. ISBN 3486735985. 
  2. ^ a b Museum of the former Extermination Camp in Chełmno-on-Ner
  3. ^ Michal Podchlebnik, 1945 Chelmno Survivor Testimony. Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team, 2008. See also: Mordechai (Michael) Podchlebnik at Steven Spielberg Archive.
  4. ^ Patrick Montague (Mar 15, 2012). "Epilogue (Judge Władysław Bednarz)". Chelmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First Death Camp. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 177. ISBN 0807869414. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  5. ^ Yad Vashem "Diaries", footnote 12
  6. ^ According to Yad Vashem Diaries the Grojanowski Report is available at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (copy in YVA, JM/2713), and it was also translated into Hebrew by Elisheva Shaul, "Taking of Testimony from the Forced Undertaker Jakob Grojanowski, Izbice-Kolo-Chelmno," Yalkut Moreshet 35 (April 1983), pp. 101-122.
  7. ^ Shoah outtake footage at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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