Prisoner photo from Auschwitz, Courtesy Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim
Gawron, ca. 1985
Born January 28, 1908 in Stara Wies, Poland; died August 25, 1991 in Poland
Gawron studied at the State School of Decorative Arts in Lwów and, after 1935, at the Academies of Fine Arts in Kraków and Warsaw. He was employed as a stained glass window designer and in 1939 joined an underground Polish resistance organization.
Arrest and Deportation to Auschwitz
January 18, 1941, Gawron was arrested in Tarnów and on April 5, 1941, deported to Auschwitz, where he received prisoner number 11237.
Work Assignments at Auschwitz
He was assigned to various labor details at Auschwitz, that included clearing rubble and working in the cabinetmaker and sculpture workshop.
Art Produced at Auschwitz
Gawron produced letter openers, ornamental boxes, landscape woodcuts, caricatures, and portraits of SS officers in addition to more private images on scraps of paper and cardboard.
Transfer to Subcamp at Harmense
1942, Gawron secured a transfer to the subcamp at Harmense where he arranged a stay in the prisoner infirmary and made notes about the brutal conditions, high mortality rates, and murders of Polish and Jewish inmates at Auschwitz. In gratitude for the medical help received at the infirmary, Gawron produced portraits of two prisoner physicians who helped him during his time there.
Escape and After
May 16, 1942, together with fellow prisoner Stefan Bielecki, Gawron made a successful escape from Harmense, taking with him not only his own drawings, caricatures, and diary, but also the works of two other Auschwitz prisoner artists, Stanisław Gutkiewicz and Leon Turalski. Gawron also carried the notes on Auschwitz made in the Harmense infirmary for the United Military Organization (Związek Organizacji Wojskowej), the camp resistance organization that had assisted his flight and in which he and Bielecki were Lieutenants,.
Spring of 1943, Gawron organized a division of the Home Army in Kicznia, Poland, and later fought in the 1944 Warsaw uprising. 1945, he traveled first to Germany and then to the United States, where he worked as a stained glass artist, and calligrapher, and amassed a large collection of Polish military artifacts.
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