August Kowalczyk: Auschwitz escapee, Holocaust survivor, and actor has died at 90


White roses left by mourners lie next to one of the many plaques detailing transports of Berlin Jews to concentration camps at the Gleis 17 (Track 17) memorial on the 70th anniversary of the deportations on Oct 18 in Berlin.


Sean Gallup

August Kowalczyk, the last surviving member of a group of Polish inmates who escaped the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942, has died, according to the AP. He was 90 years old. 

In June of 1942 Kowalczyk and 50 fellow prisoners, working in a field, attempted their escape. Most died. But, nine made it. Kowalczyk was the last known survivor, according to the Huffington Post. According to this website, his number was 6804.

In a translated Polish article, Kowalczyk told part of his story:

"I survived with the help of the Silesian families Lysków and Sklorzy of Bojszów and residents [of] Bierun and Auschwitz. They hid me for seven weeks, twelve kilometers from the camp, only later I came to a branch of the Home Army fighting in the Miechow."

Kowalczyk went on to become a celebrated actor. You can check out some of his films here.

Around 1.5 million people, the majority of them Jews, died in Auschwitz from 1940-45, according to CBS News