Last Survivor of First Auschwitz Convoy Dies at 96

Polish Kazimierz Albin 'saw it as his most important duty to speak about Auschwitz and his murdered fellow inmates,' International Auschwitz Committee says

Kazimierz Albin, the last survivor of the first convoy sent to the Auschwitz death camp in June 1940, died in Warsaw at age 96, the International Auschwitz Committee said on Tuesday.

"Later in life, Kazimierz Albin saw it as his most important duty and task to speak about Auschwitz and his murdered fellow inmates: He wrote books, he spoke, he travelled and spoke with young people in many countries," said executive vice president Christoph Heubner.

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Kazimierz Albin posing in his home in Warsaw, January 15, 2010.
Janek Skarzynsky/AFP

"It was especially important for him to be heard in Germany," he added.

Albin was 17 years old when he arrived in Auschwitz and was assigned the number 118, according to a committee statement. From the start, he had concentrated "on not letting himself be ruled by fear and hate, but instead focused on making his own situation and that of others easier."

In February 1943, he and another inmate were able to flee Auschwitz.

In Krakow, he joined the armed Polish resistance and fought for the liberation of his homeland and the concentration camp. After his escape, his brother, still an Auschwitz prisoner, was tortured.

Albin was also the Polish vice president of the Auschwitz committee.