The last surviving member of a 1942 escape attempt from Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland died in his birth country, aged 90.
The Auschwitz museum confirmed that August Kowalczyk, the only living member of nine prisoners of the notorious Nazi death camp to have escaped in 1942, had passed away at the hospice he co-founded in the southern Polish town of Oswiecim, on the site of the former camp.
Having been deported to the camp in December 1940, he formed part of a group of 50 convicts attempting to escape its confines whilst working in a field in June 1942. The majority were killed by camp guards, only nine escaped with their lives.
A celebrated personality and actor, Kowalczyk dedicated the rest of his life to telling his account of the Holocaust to younger generations.
Some 1.5 million people the majority of which were Jews, were killed at Auschwitz from 1940-1945. Approximately 7,500 prisoners were liberated by Red Army forces follow the defeat of Nazi Germany, with a further 20,000 Auschwitz prisoners who had been forced to participate in death march being liberated from their final destination of Bergen-Belsen concentration in German.
It is estimated that at least 800 prisoners attempted to escape from Auschwitz during the Second World War. Only 140 of those were successful.