Survivors' Stories

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
Elie Wiesel

Marcel Zielinski (Grüner)

  • From: Poland (Krakow)
  • Liberated from: Poland (Auschwitz Birkenau)
  • Deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from: Germany (Gross Rosen)
  • Current Location: Canada (Montreal)
  • Year of birth: 1934
Brief Bio 
Born in Krakow 28 Sept.1934. In Nazi occupied Poland, during the Shoa, I was in Ghetto Krakow, KL Płaszów, Gross Rosen, Auschwitz/Birkenau. I was liberated 27 Jan. 1945 in Birkenau, camp D, block 29. I Now live in Montreal, QC, Canada.
At the age of 10, shortly after the liberation, I walked to Krakow to look for my parents.
I stayed in the orphanage of the JCC until months later, my mother found me there. Father never returned.
I remained in Poland with mother in Bogatynia and Wrocław. Was Competitive cyclist with PAFAWAG 1954.
Graduated electrical engineer from the Politechnika Wrocławska in 1957.  Married Maryla in 1957. Emigrated to Israel 1958.
Son Betzalel born in 1958. Emigrated to Canada in 1967. Carrier in aerospace, IAI, P&W, RCA, CAE, Bombardier.
Retired in 1997.  I am an Avid cyclist, rode across Canada. Annually,Ride for the Living from Birkenau to JCC Krakow. 5 time participant in the March of the Living with Montreal kids.
What does Auschwitz mean to you? 
Auschwitz/Birkenau should be preserved in order to remind the future generations what hatred and intolerance, sanctioned by the Nazi government can lead to: MURDER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE with efficiency on industrial scale.
My message to the next generation is…
There’s way too much hatred in the world. We always must REMEMBER and ALWAYS OPPOSE ANTISEMITISM.
Who will be accompanying you on this journey? 
My companion is my granddaughter. Chen (32), she is single, lives in Israel, but in spite of the distance, we’re very close.