Message of Prisoner 149894
“Let the world and life in it be a refuge for all races of people and their creeds. The domination of man over man causes a lot of humiliation, discrimination, annihilation, enslavement and lack of humanity.

I experienced suffering, and enslavement. A joyful childhood was taken away from me. Let the evil generation have its place in hell. Let the new generation lie in the renewal of mutual understanding and respect. Instead of barbed camp wire, let a thorny rose grow”.

Grzegorz Tomaszewski / Grisza Żukow (Zhukov) was brought to KL Auschwitz from Witebsk in Belarus on September 9, 1943, together with his mother, Anna Żukowa, his grandmother, two sisters and a brother. From that moment on, he became number 149894, which is still on his arm today. His father, Awakun Żukow was the commander of one of the partisan units operating in the forests near their native village of Latigowo. He was killed there in 1943. The youngest sister, Alinka, was the first to die in the camp on December 17, 1943. His mother, Anna Żukowa, died that same month. After her death, Grisza fell ill and was taken to the camp hospital. In 1944, Nina, his older sister and brother were transported along with other Belarusian children to the camp in Potulice near Bydgoszcz, and then to Konstantyn near Łódź. After the liberation of the camp in Konstantynów, Soviet soldiers took the children to the Soviet Union. The children’s grandmother probably died in Auschwitz.

Until liberation, Grisza reained in Birkenau in the camp hospital. In the first days of February 1945, he was taken with a large group of children to Krakow. At the beginning of March, seven children from Belarus, including Grisza, were transferred to an orphanage in Harbutowice near Kraków, and then to the Bucze Scouting preventorium in Górki Wielkie near Skoczów. While there, in 1946 Grisha and six other Belarusian children were baptized in the local parish church. They were given new identities in court. Grisza was given the name and surname Grzegorz Tomaszewski. He remained in Skoczów until 1947. He stayed in other orphanages also: in Katowice, Czarnowąsy near Opole and Głuchołazy. At the age of 17, he graduated from vocational school and he was on his own. First, he worked on a farm, but later found a job in a sugar factory in Kietrz. He then returned to Głuchołazy where he worked in a furniture factory and then a glove factory. Over time Mr. Grzegorz made a life for himself – he got married, had two children, a daughter, Anna, and a son, Andrzej, and then grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

It was more than sixty years later that he found his biological siblings. In 2008, at the invitation of the editors of the program “Żdi mienia” ( Wait for me), he went with his son to Moscow. In the TV studio there was a meeting with his sister, younger brother, and a large family.