Joseph Kanarek was born in Plonsk, Poland where he lived with his parents, Hershel and Goldie Kanarek, and his little sister, Rachel. The family spent summer vacations in the country with his grandparents, and in the winter, they went ice skating, sledding, and skiing with friends and neighbors.

After Germany occupied Poland, Joseph and his family was moved to the Plonsk Ghetto where they lived from July 1940 to November 1942. From there they were deported to Auschwitz  where his mother and sister were killed. Joseph and his father were placed in forced labor at Buna from December 1942 until December 1944.

From January to April 1945, Joseph was in Mittelbau-Dora until he was liberated by the US Army. His father had been sent to another camp where he died.

Joseph left Bremen, Germany on the USS Marine Perch, the second ship bringing refugees from Europe. As a teenager traveling alone, he arrived in New York in May 1946 where he was met by an aunt and uncle.

Joseph completed his education, becoming a doctor. In 1959 he arrived in Kansas City where he finished his training and built his medical practice.

  • This survivor does not have recorded testimony available.


Joseph Kanarek Photo Gallery

Family photographs are the property of the survivor’s family and are used here with permission. Portraits are copyrighted by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. No photographs may be used or reproduced without permission.


© Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Testimonies may be used for individual research with proper citation. All other uses require written permission from MCHE.

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