Danuta Czech 1922 till 2004.
“..June 2nd. 1942 In Bunker 1 ..Birkenau ..Men ..Women ..Children ..from Ilkenau ..killed with Zyklon B gas. 47 prisoners are released. ..33 Czechs 13 Poles ..as well as ..German BV prisoner Paul Schikowski (No. 27) born June 26th. 1896 ..sent from Sachsenhausen. 129 prisoners die ..Auschwitz Birkenau ..including 2 from Buna ..Emmanuel Spitzstein (No. 31871) a Slovak Jew ..and Czech BV prisoner Karl Hein (No. 33715).” Auschwitz Chronicle.
Danuta Czech, a Polish Jew, was born in Humniska, Poland, in 1922 and lived through her War years in the knowledge that her life was forfeit as a Polish Jew. After the liberation of Auschwitz, January 27th 1945, Danuta worked tirelessly to research to preserve the very memory of what Auschwitz and Birkenau had stood for. As an excellent Historian, who was determined to elongate the memory of those of her own People who were Murdered, she has delivered to all of History a tome of immeasurable importance. For all those many others who perished within the Camp confines, her work is indeed monumental in recognising the Human cost in destroyed lives.
“..Chronicle has been an important resource for collecting evidence against former members of ..SS in Auschwitz and other camps. ..as its Author ..I gave expert testimony in ..trial of Robert Mulka ..in ..first Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial ..December 20th. 1963 ..to August 1965.” Danuta Czech.
Danuta has also ensured that the deeds that were done by those who committed the most heinous of crimes ever invented would be preserved in her Auschwitz ‘Chronicle’. The Memorial Museum itself at Auschwitz, weighed heavy by the process which saw 1,100,000 Jews from all over Europe, with the Slaughtered at Birkenau and the Murdered in Auschwitz, is literally founded upon their ashes. From its inception, what this Memorial Museum at Auschwitz now seeks to teach an uncomprehending World, has been clearly formulated by the Scholarly effort of Danuta Czech, herself a Jewish Survivor.
“..Chronicle ..has had direct significance for historical research ..as well as for ..criminal prosecution of ..perpetrators. Its meaning ..goes beyond this ..its value for a broader readership.” Danuta Czech.
Danuta went through varying stages of involvement in the Museum accepting her post back in 1955 until she became Deputy Director until her retirement. Danuta’s Scholarly work did not slacken and she has had her works published around the World. She also testified as an expert witness at various War Crimes Trials in Germany and she was unflinching in confronting those SS who garrisoned Auschwitz and Birkenau. Sadly for us, Danuta passed on April 4th. 2004, at the age of 82, but not before her incisive and investigative talent has left us with a more comprehensive study of Auschwitz and Birkenau the combined machinations of German efforts had hoped to have destroyed, entirely. It is certain too that Danuta would be perplexed if not vexed by the way today’s Poland is treating the heritage and legacy of Polish Jewish antecedence.
“..Chronicle ..is also an epitaph ..a memorial ..for those who suffered and struggled ..for those who did not survive ..who died nameless ..in gas chambers. It is my hope ..Chronicle will be recognised as such an epitaph.” Danuta Czech.