Pincus Kolender papers
Images and transcripts of a speech and oral history interview of Pincus Kolender, a Jewish native of Bochnia, Poland, who survived imprisonment in multiple concentration camps during World War II, including Szebnie, Birkenau, Buna, and Dora. Images include pre- and post-war photographs of Kolender and his family, as well as those of his wife Renee Fox (formerly Fuchs) Kolender.
- circa 1915-1996
- Kolender, Pincus, 1926-2008 (Person)
Language of Material
Materials in English
This collection is open for research.
The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.
The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Pincus Kolender (1926-2008) was born in Bochnia, Poland, near Krakow. Kolender had an older brother, Abraham, and an older sister, Rosa. His family owned a small grocery store on the first floor of their home, opened after Kolender's father, Chiel Kolender, lost his job in 1936 for refusing to shave his beard, a reflection of growing Polish antisemitism. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Bochnia was transformed into a Jewish ghetto.
Kolender, his parents, and his siblings survived in the ghetto until the first stage of its liquidation in 1942, when his mother, Rachel, was shot and killed by the SS. The remaining family lived in the ghetto for another year, at which time Rosa Kolender was deported to Treblinka, where she was killed. Chiel Kolender was sent to Plashov, a labor camp, where he was shot and killed by a commandant. Pincus and Abraham Kolender were deported to Auschwitz, where they survived by sneaking into the line headed for the work camp, rather than the line headed for the gas chambers to which they were initially assigned.
Kolender and his brother ended up at Buna, also known as Auschwitz III, working at the I.G. Farben factory. As the Red Army advanced into Poland in January 1945, they, along with the other surviving Auschwitz inmates, were sent out on a long march away from the camp. Abraham Kolender died during the march. Kolender survived and was sent to Dora, another German work camp, until the British approached in April 1945, at which point he was again moved, this time by train to Czechslovakia.
Outside of Prague, Kolender and two other inmates jumped off the train. They hid in the woods for eighteen days, aided by a Czech farmer who provided them with clothes and food, until the area was liberated by an American tank unit on May 7, 1945. After liberation, Kolender left Prague for Germany and applied for an American visa, which was approved in 1950. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society helped resettle Kolender in Charleston, South Carolina, where in 1953 he married Renee Fox (formerly Fuchs), also a Polish Holocaust survivor.
0.25 linear feet (4 folders)
The collection consists of images and transcripts of a speech and oral history interview of Pincus Kolender, a Jewish native of Bochnia, Poland, who survived imprisonment in multiple concentration camps during World War II, including Szebnie, Birkenau, Buna, and Dora. Images include pre- and post-war photographs of Kolender and his family, as well as those of his wife Renee Fox (formerly Fuchs) Kolender.
Materials are described at the folder level.
Materials donated in 2000 by Pincus Kolender.
Alternate Form of Materials
Photographs available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.
Processed by Rebecca McClure, September 2013.
- Birkenau (Concentration camp)
- Bochnia (Poland)
- Charleston (S.C.)
- Holocaust survivors -- Poland
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
- Jewish ghettos -- Poland -- History
- Kolender, Pincus, 1926-2008
- Kolender, Renee Fox, 1922-1999
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities
- black-and-white negatives
- black-and-white slides
- digital images
- speeches (documents)
- Inventory of the Pincus Kolender Papers, circa 1915-1996
- Processed by: Rebecca McClure; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rebecca McClure
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Script of description