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Survivor Portraits – George Grojnowski

This month, we introduce Holocaust survivor George Grojnowski. George was born in Radziejow, Poland, in 1927, and was incarcerated in Radziejow Ghetto, Czestochowa Ghetto, Rakow Labour Camp and Buchenwald during the course of WWII.

A crucial part of George’s story that he feels necessary to pass on is the glimmer of humanity that he found in two encounters with Nazi guards, to which, in part, he attributes his survival. George recounts his first encounter; a Nazi guard stopped him from running to his mother and sister who, subsequently, went directly to their deaths. The second was when a guard delivered George back to his father – a symbol of value for human life amidst absolute bleakness.

After liberation on a Death March to Theresienstadt, George moved to Australia in 1949; it is this day that George considers his true birthday. It wasn’t until much later, when George’s wife prompted him to talk about his experiences, that he formally began to tell his story.

In this photograph, George is pictured with the concentration camp jacket he wore in Buchenwald, on which he changed the yellow triangle to red in gratitude to his Soviet liberators.