Ze'ev Soronowsky papers, 1922-2012  PDF

Overview of the Collection

William D. SarnoffZe'ev (Wolf-Velvel) Hacohen Soronowsky, 1922-2012
Ze'ev Soronowsky papers
1922-2012 (inclusive)
0.025 linear feet, (1 folder)
Collection Number
Coll 395
Ze'ev Saronowsky (1922-2012) was a Holocaust survivor, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and other labor/death camps during World War II. The collection (1997-2012) contains his autobiography, photographs of Buchenwald, and a photograph of Saronowsky with his cousin, William Sarnoff.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Ze'ev (Wolf-Velvel) Hacohen Soronowsky (1922- ) was born in a Russian town named Kartuz Bereza, which was under Polish rule at the time of his birth. His mother Duba and his father Aharon came from Ruzhany. He also had two sisters, Breina and Leah. He attended Hebrew school as a child, and was later educated at an institute of commerce and bookkeeping in the town of Grondo. While he was still attending bookkeeping school, the German army invaded Russia.

Saronowsky lived for a time in Ghetto B, then fled on foot to another town, Pruzhany. He was captured by gentiles near the city of Rujanoy and taken to the German command headquarters near there. He was then taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 28, 1943.

While at Auschwitz he learned his mother had been killed and his father captured, but then released.

Saronowsky was transferred in the Spring of 1944 to another camp, Boneh, 10 kilometers from Auschwitz. In January of 1945, he was forced marched to Gleibitz camp, then the Orenburg camp, and lastly the Plosenberg camp. He was then put on a train for the Leonberg camp near Stuttgart. At Leonberg he was shot in the head, but survived. The next morning, April 23rd, 1945, his camp was liberated. He was twenty-three years old.

Soronowsky went on to have a son, Aharon Hacohen (Soronowsky) Ronen. Aharon's wife Sarit Ronen, translated Ze'ev Soronowsky's autobiography into English, and it was an American cousin, William Sarnoff, who donated it to the University of Oregon.

[Source: Autobiography, Ze'ev Saronowsky papers, Coll 395. Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The autobiographical testimony was written by Soronowsky in Hebrew, in 1997. The text was translated into English, edited, and adapted by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Sarit (Soronowsky) Ronen. The collection contains a typed copy of the English text.

The autobiography details life from his point of view as the Germans took over Poland and parts of Russia, forced the Jews to live in Ghettos, and then started a campaign of forced removal of Jewish people to concentration camps. He also gives an account of his experiences at the concentration camps, and includes names of people he knew or met while he was imprisoned there.

The collection also contains four photographs of Buchenwald, on the day, or soon after, it was liberated (April 10, 1945), taken by a Soronowsky cousin, Army Captain William Sornoff. Photographs are of Weimar residents being escorted through the camp, bodies and remains of prisoners, and a photo of the Buchenwald crematorium.

There is also a photograph taken in 1982 of Ze'ev Soronowsky with his cousin, Professor William Sarnoff.

There is an accompanying letter (2012) from Professor Sarnoff explaining the contents of the collection.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ze'ev Soronowsky papers, Coll 395, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
  • Personal Names :
  • William D. Sarnoff
  • Ze'ev (Wolf-Velvel) Hacohen Soronowsky, 1922-2012
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Autobiographies
  • Photographs