Marvin Woznicki was born in Silesia, Poland in 1925. Marvin grew up there in a house with his parents, his brother and his two sisters. Marvin attended grade school in Poland up to Grade 4. He had a happy childhood in his early years growing up, until all of that changed. Marvin was only fourteen years old when German forces invaded Poland and the war broke out. As soon as the Germans unexpectedly invaded Poland, Marvin’s life became “miserable” and it took an immediate turn. His parents were believed to be taken to Auschwitz, and Marvin’s three siblings and himself were all split up and taken to different labour camps. Life in occupied Poland was explained as “absolutely miserable” as the Germans were creating laws and restrictions on Jews. These laws included all Jews being sent to Concentration Camps, German Forced Labour Camps, and Ghettos; all Jews that lived in occupied Poland also had to wear a Star of David patch that was stitched onto their given article of clothing. After some time staying in a Ghetto in occupied Poland, Marvin was sent to the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. In this filthy, Typhus filled camp, Marvin was forced to do manual labour on limited food and poor living conditions. Aside from the death march due to the allied forces coming within proximity of the Nazis, Marvin stayed in this camp until the end of the war. He was liberated by the British and was placed in a Displaced Persons camp until 1947. He then smuggled himself to Belgium in a British Uniform, where he stayed with relatives until his aunt and uncle from Canada sent him papers to go live with them, Marvin moved to Toronto and has lived here ever since, he has sponsored his brother and one of his sisters to also come live in Toronto, where Marvin has lived a happy life.
Marvin Woznicki was interviewed at Baycrest’s Cafe Europa in November 2018, by a delegation of Crestwood students, with Spencer Whitnall taking the lead on this project.
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