Kazimierz Smolen, Auschwitz memorial director, dies


PRAGUE (JTA) — Kazimierz Smolen, an Auschwitz survivor and postwar director of its memorial site, died on the 67th anniversary of the Nazi camp’s liberation.

Smolen died Jan. 27, the day in 1945 that the Soviet Red Army had reached the camp, in Oswiecim, the Polish town where the camp was located, The Associated Press reported.

Auschwitz memorial site spokesman Pawel Sawicki confirmed the death and said that a moment of silence was held after its announcement to visiting Holocaust survivors.

Smolen was brought to Auschwitz in 1941 and left the camp on the last transport of prisoners evacuated by the Germans, nine days before it was liberated. He returned to serve as director of its museum from 1955 to 1990. In recent years he continued to live in Oswiecim and take part in memorial services.

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