Farewell to Onufrij Mychajlowytsch Dudok

22.09.2020

The sad news has reached us that Onufrji Mychajlowytsch Dudok died on 14 September 2020

Farewell to Onufrij Mychajlowytsch Dudok
(Photo: KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen/Bernhard Mühleder)

Onufrji Mychajlowytsch Dudok was born on 12 June 1926 in the then Polish village of Kosowiec. In mid-September 1939, the Soviet Union annexed the eastern part of Poland. At the age of 13 he was forced to leave school and go to work in a liquor factory. On 22 June 1941 the German Wehrmacht attacked the Soviet Union. Very soon, the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic came under German occupation. Onufrij Dudok was among the millions of men and women deported to Germany as forced labourers. The young man finally ended up in Nuremberg. He was on his way home from the post office, having wanted to inform his family about where he was staying, when he was stopped by a police patrol and asked for identification. When he was unable to provide any, he was arrested on the accusation of trying to flee.
After several weeks in police custody, on 12 January 1943 the Nuremberg Gestapo transferred Onufrij Dudok to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. There he was forced to work in the quarry.
In early December 1943, the SS deported Onufrij Dudok along with 1000 other prisoners to the Auschwitz concentration camp. As Soviet forces approached in late 1944, the SS began to disband the Auschwitz concentration camp, and thousands of prisoners were sent to other camps.
Dudok was transferred to the Mauthausen concentration camp. He spent a few weeks in quarantine in Block 20 before being assigned to the Gusen concentration camp, where he was a forced labourer in various work detachments. On 5 May 1945 he was liberated in Gusen. He was 19 years old and badly affected by imprisonment. He spent 18 months receiving medical treatment before being able to return home. No one from his home village was expecting him to return; the joy at his arrival was therefore all the greater.

In April 2016 he visited the Flossenbürg and Mauthausen concentration camps as part of a delegation and was accompanied during his visit by our colleague Bernhard Mühleder, who took this photo.

 

We mourn the loss of Onufrij Mychajlowytsch Dudok.