Jan Mosdorf (30 May 1904,
Warsaw - 11 October 1943, Auschwitz), was a Polish right-wing politician, director of the nationalist organization All-Polish Youth (Młodziez
Wszechpolska, MW) and member of the far-right political party
He also worked as a publicist, using the pseudonym
. Mosdorf died in Auschwitz
concentration camp in 1943, killed for helping Jews.
Mosdorf associated himself with the National Democratic movement
(founded by Roman Dmowski
) some time
in 1926. Two years later, he completed his philosophy studies,
earning a M.A. degree (later on, he also earned a PhD in
philosophy, writing about works of August
, under supervision of prof. Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz
studies, he was a member of several right-wing youth organizations.
articles for nationalist magazines, always claiming that Germany is Poland’s
main enemy and that Poland should gain control over the Western
part of Upper Silesia and Masuria.
during the IV Congress of the MW, which took place in Lwów, he was
elected director of the organization.
Mosdorf was widely
liked by fellow members of the MW, his appearances were always
associated with applause. Later on, being a member of the ONR, he
had to hide for some time, when the government incarcerated several
activists of the organization in the Bereza Kartuska prison
In late 1939, after Polish
, he returned to the conspirational Stronnictwo Narodowe
. He was one of
leaders of the party, also helped with creation of the anti-Nazi
units known as Narodowa Organizacja Wojskowa
1940 Mosdorf was arrested and placed in Gestapo's infamous
On January 6, 1941, he was sent to
Auschwitz, where he met his friend from ONR, Bolesław Świderski
support was crucial to Mosdorf. Having survived typhus
, he changed his attitude and started to help
fellow inmates, regardless of their nationality
Until then, Mosdorf regarded Jews as enemies of Poland and Polish
nation. In Auschwitz however, knowing that Jews were being
exterminated, he organized a group that helped those in need. He
was a very active member, gaining food and clothes for starving and
cold inmates. Professor Irina Livezeanu from University of
Pittsburgh wrote that "Mosdorf did everything in his power to
help the Jews in the Auschwitz camp, and he died together with the
Details of his death are unknown. Reportedly, he was denounced either by a
Belarussian anti-semite or by Józef Cyrankiewicz, who later became
prime minister of communist Poland.
On September 25, 1943, Mosdorf was placed in the Pavilion XI, and
on October 11 executed, together with a group of other inmates.
symbolic tomb is located at the Powązkowski
Cemetery in Warsaw.