Re: Is the name Targosz jewish?
Born September 7, 1899 in Lipnik, Poland; died September 10, 1979 in Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Targosz studied art in Vienna, served in the Austrian army during World War I, and in the Polish army 1919-21.Shortly
thereafter, he worked as a salesman for a chemistry firm.An avid collector of military paraphernalia, he belonged to the
Society for the Army Museum and the Dorotheum in Vienna.
Arrest and Deportation to Auschwitz
Targosz was arrested in Bielsko on December 18, 1940, and on the same day deported to Auschwitz, receiving prisoner
The Auschwitz Camp Museum
Targosz made numerous sketches of horses and military scenes that led fellow prisoner and artist Wincenty Gawron to make
a drawing of Targosz on a horse and assert that "[Targosz's] horses reflected a deep reality...that only a passionate rider and
cavalryman could draw this way." Targosz's works also impressed Auschwitz commandant Höss, who approved of
Targosz's idea of a camp museum.Targosz was named head of the museum, founded in October 1941, that was not only a
collection of objects but also a desirable work assignment for prisoners that provided them with art supplies and afforded
them the opportunity to make more private images.
Work Assignments at Auschwitz
His various work assignments included the Bauhof (storage area for building materials), Strafkompanie (penal company),
Kiesgrube (gravel pit), Tischlerei (carpentry workshop), Malerei (painting workshop), Glaserei (glazier's workshop), and
Poststelle (post office).The last position enabled Targosz occasionally to smuggle photographs and messages past the
censors.Suspected of belonging to an underground resistance group, Targosz was transferred to barrack 11 on September
25, 1943, but was subsequently released back to labor details.
Liberation and After
With the evacuation of Auschwitz on January 18, 1945, Targosz was sent to Mauthausen on January 21, 1945, and liberated
by the American army at the Melk subcamp on May 5, 1945.After the war, he returned to Poland to become Deputy
Director, Curator, and Conservator of the Auschwitz Museum, positions from which he was dismissed in 1954 for convening
an unofficial conference that criticized the behavior of visiting Soviet delegations and sought to redirect the museum's focus.
Targosz also testified at the 1947 Kraków trials against Höss and other SS officers and submitted an important deposition
used in the 1964 Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt.
Archives and art collection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim.
Fritz Bauer Institute and Staatsanwaltschaft, Frankfurt: records of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial 4 Ks 2/63, v. 94, containing
Targosz's testimony on August 23, 1962, 18717-37, and v. 74, deposition in Bielsko-Biala district court, 13905-22.
Goldmann, Sybille and Myrah Adams Rösing.Kunst zum Überleben: Gezeichnet in Auschwitz. Ulm, 1989.
Huener, Jonathan."German Deeds, Polish Soil, Jewish Shoah: Auschwitz Memory and the Politics of Commemoration."
Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Jaworska, Janina.Nie wszystek umre... Warsaw, 1975.
Milton, Sybil and Janet Blatter.Art of the Holocaust. New York, 1981.