In the night of 25-26 February 2021, our friend Roman Kamieniecki passed away due to Covid-19. He was most recently the president of the Association of Former Political Prisoners of Neuengamme concentration camp in Poland.
Roman Kamieniecki was born in Warsaw on 7 August 1925. As a young man, he resisted the German occupiers by committing acts of sabotage as part of the Polish underground army Armia Krajowa. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1942, he was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in November. In the summer of 1943, he was deported to the Neuengamme concentration camp and had to work in the clay pits and in the brick factory. Roman Kamieniecki fell ill, but survived and was transferred to the Neuengamme sub-camp Hanover-Stöcken, where he worked at the accumulator works. Shortly before the end of the war, he was deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where he was liberated by British troops. After convalescing in Sweden, he returned to Poland, caught up on his schooling, started a family and worked at the Ministry of Mining and Energy until his retirement.
In interviews and conversations as a contemporary witness, Roman Kamieniecki repeatedly gave impressive and detailed accounts of his time as a prisoner in Auschwitz and Neuengamme. In 2015, he travelled to Hamburg for the major commemoration events marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the liberation of the concentration camps. The following year, he gave the speech at the central commemoration event in Neuengamme. In 2020, he also considered coming to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation, but his health and the pandemic prevented this. Our thoughts are with his family, especially his son Tomek.