Zalman Gradowski

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Zalman Gradowski and his wife Sonia on their wedding day, ca. 1935

Zalman Gradowski or Chaim Zalman Gradowski (1910 – October 7, 1944) originally from Suwałki,[1] was a Polish Jewish prisoner of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Holocaust in occupied Poland. He arrived in November 1942 aboard a Holocaust train from Kalabosin (see: Kiełbasin Sammellagger servicing Grodno Ghetto,[2] possible spelling error). After "selection" his family members perished. He was sent to work in the Sonderkommando slave labour unit.[3]

Secret diary[edit]

In order to bear witness for future generations, Gradowski wrote a secret diary, describing his life and the camp. He buried his notebook in the camp as a time capsule. In it, Gradowski gave a detailed description of the extermination process in Birkenau. He was one of the key figures in the Sonderkommando underground at Auschwitz, where he was murdered in 1944.[3][4]


  1. ^ Shulamit Lifshitz (2015). "Chaim Zalman Gradowski from Suwalki, Poland, born in 1910 to Shmuel and Sara". The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. Yad Vashem. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ POLIN (2015). "Kiełbasin, ul. O. Solomowoj - były nazistowski obóz tranzytowy". Kiełbasin transit camp. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Yisrael Gutman, Michael Berenbaum (1998). Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. Indiana University Press. pp. 522–529. ISBN 025320884X. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  4. ^ Michael Berenbaum. "Weeping Without Tears" (PDF file, direct download). Source: Yad Vashem Studies, Vol. 29, Jerusalem, 2001, pp. 433-446. Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies. p. 3. Retrieved 9 April 2015.