Jerzy Kowalewski

June 9 1923 in Warsaw (Poland) – July 27 2013 in Warsaw

Prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp: 1944–1945

In summer 1939 Jerzy Kowalewski returns to his native city of Warsaw after completing high school in Switzerland. He enlists in the Polish Army and then later joins a resistance group. He is arrested by the Gestapo in April 1941. After a year in the Pawiak prison he is then deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp and forced to work in the construction of the Buna factory for I.G. Farben. In May 1942 SS doctors infect him with typhus. He survives and two months later is sent to the Groß-Rosen camp. There the SS force him to work as a stonemason, electrician, and shoe shiner in the SS leaders’ quarters. In February 1944 Jerzy Kowalewski is moved to the Dachau concentration camp, where he is forced to work for the SS experimental farms, mainly in planting. He is involved in the resistance activities organized by the Polish prisoners. He is once again the victim of cruel medical experiments. After the camp is liberated by U.S. Army troops on April 29 1945 and months of recuperation, Jerzy Kowalewski joins the Polish Army and serves in Italy and Britain until 1947, before emigrating to Argentina. At the beginning of the 1950s he returns to Warsaw. With Poland under communist rule, Kowalewski, who is not a party member, finds it very difficult to earn a living. As the father of a child suffering polio, Jerzy Kowalewski actively campaigns for children with disabilities resulting from the experiments performed on their parents in concentration camps.