A Hero’s Death

He outlived his enemies by 60 years. God Bless Him, may he rest in peace.

Welcome to News-Journal!: Ryniak was arrested by the Nazis in his hometown of Sanok, in southern Poland, in May 1940 and accused of being a member of the Polish resistance. He was 24 at the time.

He arrived at Auschwitz on June 14, 1940, together with hundreds of other Polish political prisoners on that first train of inmates.

Numbers were tattooed on the prisoners’ arms in the order of their arrival. The first 30 numbers were given to German criminal prisoners who would serve as camp guards.

Ryniak’s number was 31, making him essentially the first inmate.

In 1944, Ryniak was transported to the Leitmeritz work camp, in what is now the Czech Republic, where he was subjected to hard labor until the end of the war.

Upon his release, he weighed only 88 pounds.

~ by kinshay on 2004-02-26.

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