"I promised my father before he died that I would bring the soil from the place where my grandfather lost his life," wrote Zygmunt Marek Ziółkowski to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial in April. He and his family are convinced that this place was Neuengamme. Officially, the last record of Nikodem Ziółkowski is dated October 22, 1944. On that day, the Warsaw carpenter was transferred from the Dachau concentration camp to Neuengamme. His brother Edmund, who survived his imprisonment in the Neuengamme concentration camp, saw him die just before the end of the war.
Last Friday, Zygmunt Marek Ziółkowski from Warsaw set off for Neuengamme with his cousin Marek from Gorzów Wielkopolski to fulfill his promise given to his father. They were accompanied by their two sons, Marcin and Maciej. Nikodem Ziółkowski’s two grandchildren and great-grandchildren told their story to the archivist.
Nikodem Ziółkowski worked in Warsaw at Fabryka Śmigieł, the largest wooden propeller manufacturer in Poland at the time. After the German invasion, the factory had to produce for German companies. During the Warsaw Uprising, machines and workers were taken to Germany. Nicodemus Ziółkowski was probably sent to Rauscha (today Ruszów) in Upper Lusatia for forced labor. When and why he was arrested is not known
In memory of Nicodemus Ziółkowski, his grandchildren donated a large framed photo from a family album to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. The frame is emblazoned with a Christ medallion. Nicodemus Ziółkowski’s personal details are written under the portrait of him wearing a uniform. Instead of the date of death, the entry ends with the words: "He was transported to Neuengamme on October 22, 1944".