An original piece of prisoner clothing from the time the German concentration and extermination camp operated was donated to the museum by Bytom resident with strong ties to Oświęcim-Andrzej Banaś.
Andrzej Banaś, born 1938, is the son of Eryka Kazimiera (nee Kubisty) and Alojzy Banaś. After Poland was invaded by Germany in 1939, the Banaś family settled in Oświęcim and moved to 7 Górnickiego Street in 1941.
Between 1940 and 1942, Alojzy Banaś was commander of the Oświęcim district of the underground Union of Armed Struggle/ Home Army which was part of the Bielsko Inspectorate. On January 25, 1943, he was executed by the Germans in KL Auschwitz camp with other conspirators.
When the decision was made to sell the house at 7 Górnickiego Street, Andrzej Banaś did not want to leave the family belongings to the new owner.
“The sweatshirt came into my possession in an unusual situation. I found it in 2006 in the attic. It was hidden in a cardboard box. When I opened it, I was amazed to see that there was the striped uniform,” he recounts.
Unfortunately, there was no distinctive element preserved that could identify the person using the garment. It is also unknown how it happened that the striped garment ended up in the attic. Andrzej Banaś speculates that some prisoner-escapee from the camp may have received help from his family who was heavily involved in underground activities during the German occupation. The sweatshirt that was left behind was later hidden in the attic and there it lay in oblivion for several decades.
“This is another important memento that, thanks to the donor and the efforts of the museum staff, has found its way into our collection. It is an extremely valuable object due to its historical value. Its condition requires conservation. We will make every effort to ensure that, once it is completed, the shirt will be included in the main exhibition. I would like to thank Mr. Andrzej Banaś very much for the donation which is so valuable to our museum,” said Remembrance Museum Land of Oświęcim Residents director Dorota Mleczko.