John, who was born to a non-Jewish Polish family, graduated from an art academy. Following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, John was in Krakow. Food became scarce in Krakow, with long lines of people waiting for whatever food was available. John decided to join the resistance against the Germans. By early 1940, he and two of his friends felt that they were in danger and decided to try to escape to France. John was caught and arrested during this escape attempt. He survived imprisonment in the Auschwitz camp, where he was classified as a political prisoner and his uniform was marked with a red triangle.
The thing grew up into, uh, several, uh, several, uh, activities. First of all, there was one, listen to the underground--to the, to the forbidden radios. And then, uh, we tried to print a, a sort of a, a newsletter, uh, the, this was the second thing. And, of course, build a membership, and organize into the units, you know. But, I was mainly active in the, in the, this, uh, newspap...newsletter business because, you know, I had always to do, something to do with it, you know, and also, you know, I was a, I just finished the Academy of Arts, so I, I know, uh, uh, I, I could compose, I could, uh, could, uh, uh, do the lettering which was necessary--a lot of things was done by, uh, uh, by hand. And this is the thing that I could do.