Message in a bottle from the Holocaust

On September 9, 1944 seven young men buried a message in a bottle at the Auschwitz death camp.

Near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Polands, workers found a message in a bottle written by prisoners, Written in pencil and sealed in a bottle, the message was dated September 9, 1944 and bears the names, camp numbers and hometowns of seven young detainees hailing from Poland and France. Officials of the museum at the site said that the bottle had been buried in a concrete wall in a school that slave laborers were forced to repair.

The note reads “All of them are between the ages of 18 and 20,” in reference to the young men who left a trace of their existence in a place where 1.1 million people were exterminated. The victims were largely Jews from throughout Europe, but also Gypsies and non-Jewish Poles.

Six of the prisoners were from Poland and one was from France. The note gives the names as: Bronislaw Jankowiak, Stanislaw Dubla, Jan Jasik, Waclaw Sobczak, Karol Czekalski, Waldemar Bialobrzeski and Albert Veissid.

Albert Veissid, one of the young men mentioned in the letter, is alive and now resides in France. Two of the others definitely survived the Holocaust. Karol Czekalski remained in contact with the museum at Auschwitz until the 1960s but has not been heard from since. It is not known whether Czekalski or Wachaw Sobczak – the other survivor – are still alive.

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