Antoni Dobrowolski was born in Wolborz [Polish: Wolbórz], present-day Lodz Voivodeship, Poland, on October 8, 1904. The Nazi German authorities limited the education of ethnic Polish children to only four years during the occupation of Poland in order to undermine Polish culture. Despite the ban, Dobrowolski joined the Secret Teaching Organization to provide underground education in occupied Poland, according to Auschwitz historian Adam Cyra. Dobrowolski was discovered and arrested in June 1942 by the Gestapo. He was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was assigned the prisoner number 38081. Dobrowolski later recalled that "Auschwitz was worse than Dante's hell." He was transferred to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp and Sachsenhausen concentration camp, remaining a prisoner until his release in 1945.
He moved to Debno [Pol. Dębno], Poland, following the end of World War II following his liberation. He worked as an elementary school teacher, before becoming the director of a high school.
Dobrowolski died on October 21, 2012, in Debno, West Pomerania Voivodeship, Poland, at the age of 108. He was the oldest known survivor of Auschwitz at the time.
He was also the oldest living man in Poland since the death of 108-year old Stefan Modrzejowski on 27 July 2012.
|Poland's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (V • E)|