Stärkebuch

Three people named Paździora are listed as prisoners in Auschwitz.

Antoni Paździora (prisoner number: 1247), Franciszek Paździora (prisoner number: E-6820), and Leopold Paździora (prisoner number: 39232).

Antoni is listed in the Memorial Book as murdered in Auschwitz on 22 March, 1942.

Antoni Paździora, 1888–1942. Source: Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Leopold was liberated in 1945 and died in 1974.

There’s no record of what happened to Franciszek.

Leopold was one of the clerks who worked on the Stärkebuch:

“The Daily Count Book was written by the prisoners who were poets as well.… the writers recorded the total number of prisoners in this file. All the fugitives, or prisoners who were deceased, transferred, or released in a particular day were mentioned in it individually including basic information about each of them.”

Leopold Paździora, 1910–1974. Source: Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Another prisoner who worked on the Stärkebuch remembered:

Schreibstube served to keep prisoners’ records and to prepare various reports for the superior authorities, which had been later sent to (RSHA). For instance at the beginning the number of prisoners (Lagerstärke) was written down 3 times a day, later, only once a day. (…)

My daily occupation was, among other things, to write down the figures on a board located in the Schreibstube. The figures concerned the amount of currently residing prisoners including their category (nationality, type of crime). The number of women was marked separately. (…)

Due to the fact that I was the author of the reports (Rapportschreiber) (from 1944) I had quite a lot of possibilities to move around the camp and its premises. The job was very stressful, we had to be vigilant all the time in order to avoid getting into somebody’s black books. The assembly arrangement required the most difficult. In a situation when one of the block clerks made a mistake when specifying the number of prisoners in his block, everyone had to bear the consequences – the assembly dragged on.

Erwin Olszówka (no. 1141)

There was also Fr. Augustine Paździora, parish priest of Końska–Trzyniec, who was arrested in a crackdown on Polish intelligentsia and died in 1940 in KL Gusen I concentration camp. If I’m reading it right, he earned a spot in the list of martyrs of the Catholic Church.

My family history on my Polish side is sketchy, so I don’t know for sure how we’re related, or even if we’re related, aside from having the same uncommon last name.

But there’s something in my heart that’s touched more deeply than I can say by the thought that I share at least a name

with a martyr priest who was killed as a threat to the Reich,

with a man who did the work of recording the names and stories of the people around him in prison,

a clerk who knew that the names were worth writing.

A prisoner who was also a poet.

Remember.

#NeverForget #NeverAgain


This note was first published 27 January 2017 on my Facebook page in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day.  It was updated in 2020 with newly available information and photos of Antoni and Leopold. It is still incomplete.

If you have any information on Paździora family history, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me!

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AuthorEric Pazdziora

Composer, Author, Pianist

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