The Stutthof death camp is a warning for Europe and the world, President Andrzej Duda wrote on Monday in a letter commemorating the 80th anniversary of the first prisoner transport to the camp, sited in today's north Poland.
Launched on August 2, 1943, in about 30 minutes of violence and mayhem around 300 prisoners managed to find their way through the barbwire to freedom. Among the 63 who survived to see the end of the war was Samuel Willenberg, an artist who would later fight with distinction in the Warsaw Uprising.
Realising that the tide of war had turned, prisoners became fearful that the Germans might try and hide their crimes by murdering all those in the camp and then razing it to the ground. In early 1943, an underground Jewish resistance organisation was formed with the goal of seizing control of the camp and escaping to freedom