Janusz Piotrowski

Janusz Piotrowski

Born: June 21, 1919

Plock, Poland

Janusz was the eldest of four children born to Catholic parents in Plock, a town located in a rural area north of Warsaw. His father was an accountant. Janusz attended local schools, and became active in scouting.

1933-39: Janusz went to Warsaw to study civil engineering. On September 1, 1939, the Germans began bombing Warsaw. One week later, all able-bodied men who had not been mobilized were directed to retreat east. On September 17, Janusz was 90 miles from the Romanian border. That night, the Soviets invaded Poland from the east, cutting off any escape route. Trapped, Janusz returned to German-occupied Poland, to his family in the town of Wyszogrod.

1940-44: Janusz was arrested in his parents' home in Wyszogrod on April 6, 1940. Some 129 community leaders, professionals and university students were taken that day. Two weeks later, Janusz arrived with a transport of 1,000 Polish political prisoners to the Dachau concentration camp. One month later, he was in the first transport to the Gusen camp in Austria. Janusz spent most of the next five years in Gusen, working in the quarry for the first year, and then in the camp's construction office. He was a member of the camp's underground organization.

At 5 p.m. on May 5, 1945, Janusz was liberated in Gusen by soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Army. He immigrated to the United States on March 23, 1948.