Antoni Dobrowolski, a teacher who was part of an underground movement that gave students' lessons under the harsh yoke of Nazi oppression and brutality, and the oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, died in Poland on Sunday. He was 108.
Jaroslaw Mensfelt, a spokesman at the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum, told the Associated Press that Dobrowolski died in the northwestern Polish town of Debno.
In 1939, when Germany invaded Poland in World War II, the Nazis banned schooling beyond four years of elementary education in an effort to rid Poland of intellectuals as part of the plan to use Polish people as a “slave race.”
Dobrowolski continued to teach students in Poland against the Nazi’s wishes. But in June 1942, he was caught and arrested along with several other Poles by the Gestapo and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“Auschwitz was worse than Dante’s hell,” Dobrowolski recalled in a video made when he was 103, the AP reported.
He was eventually moved to the Gross-Rosen and Sachsenhausen concentration camps and freed in 1945.
After the war, Dobrowolski moved to Debno, where he worked as a teacher and principal at an elementary school and later a high school. He will be buried in Debno on Wednesday.