Abraham Izrael Kozuch
(Sol Kozak)

Portrait of Sol Kozak. Hannah Kozak private collection.

Abraham Izrael Kozuch was born July 25, 1925, in Będzin Poland into a poor, observant orthodox Jewish family. One of eight children, Abraham attended school through the seventh grade. In 1942, 17-year-old Abraham was sent to Markstädt labor camp. Over the next three years, he survived eight labor camps. He attributes his survival to hundreds of tiny decisions; making it out alive was a combination of his will, his intuition, and luck. One story from his time in the camps encapsulates this horrible reality. While in the Hirschberg camp, the Nazis ordered everyone to get into a line; instead, he ducked into a barrack. This small act saved his life because the other camp inmates were marched off to their deaths. Of his family, he was the only one to survive the Holocaust.

In the spring of 1945, Abraham was liberated by Russian soldiers from Dörnhau concentration camp (the SS referred to it as a camp for the sick and dying). Though liberated, he was in very poor health, suffering from tuberculosis and weighing only 65 pounds. He was sent to Marine House where he convalesced for a year before immigrating to the United States. Upon arrival, he Americanized his name to Sol Kozak. In June 1995, at the repeated urgings of his daughter Hannah, Abraham committed his testimony to film with the Shoah Foundation.

The reflected portrait of Hannah Kozak in the glass surrounding an oven at Majdanek. Hannah has traveled to Poland several times to retrace her father’s path through the Holocaust and to learn about the family and culture lost in the Holocaust. Hannah Kozak private collection.

Hannah Kozak, daughter of Sol, traveled to Poland several times to retrace her father’s experiences in the camps. She documented her trips on her blog https://hannahkozak.wordpress.com/