Kazimierz Albin was born in Cracow in 1922. Before the outbreak of the war in 1939, he completed his first four years at the Bartołomiej Nowodworski Secondary School No. 1.
In January 1940, he was arrested in Slovakia on his way to join the Polish Army then forming in France. After passing through prisones in Presev, Muszyna, Nowy Sącz, and Tarnów, he was sent to Auschwitz in the first prisoner transport and received camp number 118. He escaped in February 1943 and went into hiding in Cracow under an assumed name. After completing cadet school, he served as head of diversionary combat for the Third Sector of Cracow City Home Army Command. After the war, he passed his final school exams and enrolled in the Aeronautics Department of the Cracow Polytechnic.
While a student, he went to work for the Energy Projects Bureau in Cracow. He worked at the Experimental Glider Factory in Bielsko-Biała from 1952 to 1963, and then was transferred to the Amalgamated Aeronautics Industry in Warsaw. He worked at Metaleksport Trade in Warsaw as a technical and commercial expert from 1966. Upon retirement, he helped found the Auschwitz Preservation Society, serving first as deputy chairman and, from 1995, as chairman of its board of trustees.
His memoir List Gończy (Wanted list), published by KAW in 1989 and now reprinted by Książka i Wiedzy and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, reflects his experiences from 1939 to 1945, presenting a vivid picture of the more than three years he spent in Nazi prisons and in Auschwitz, and his two years of carrying out sabotage and diversion actions in Cracow. The third German edition appeared in 2000.
Kazimierz Albin holds a range of combat decorations (including the Cross of Valor, the Partisan Cross, and the Home Army Cross), as well as the Knight’s Cross, Officer’s Cross, and Commander’s Cross of the Order of Poland Reborn. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Museum Council and the International Auschwitz Council.
Photo by Mikołaj Grynberg