Beaten to Death by the Kapo

On the early morning of 21 February 1945, the Pole Alfred Zalejski was admitted to the Dora camp infirmary with severe abdominal pain. He died of internal bleeding five hours later. An autopsy revealed a ruptured spleen.

Before he died – according to a memo written by an SS Unterscharführer on duty at the time – Zalejski reported that he had been severely beaten and kicked by his work detachment kapo two days earlier. It was that abuse that presumably caused his death.

Alfred Zalejski of Częstochowa had been committed to the Auschwitz concentration camp as a political inmate in 1943 and transferred to Buchenwald in August 1944. At the end of October 1944, the SS took him to Dora. Zalejski was only 34 years old. He was survived by his wife and two children.

(Jens-Christian Wagner)

Source: Buchenwald concentration camp prisoner registration card for Alfred Zalejski, 15 February 1944 (Arolsen Archives).

Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner, Produktion des Todes: Das KZ Mittelbau-Dora, 3rd edition, Göttingen 2015.