Joseph Kanarek

Of Blessed Memory 1926 – 2020

Joseph Kanarek was born in Plonsk, Poland where he lived with his parents, Hershel and Goldie Kanarek, and his younger 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 the occupation of Poland, Joseph and his family were 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 worked in forced labor at Buna from December 1942 until December 1944.

Following a death march in January 1945, Joseph performed labor in Mittelbau-Dora until April when he was liberated by the US Army. His father was sent to another camp where he perished.

Joseph left Bremen, Germany on the USS Marine Perch, the second ship bringing refugees from Europe. 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.

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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.

©2013 Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

Testimonies may be used for individual research with proper citation. All other uses require written permission from MCHE. The above video testimony is edited from a full-length testimony that may be viewed onsite at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education or at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.

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