Born in Poland in 1942, Jerry Orzechowski could not remember a time when his family was not on the run from the Nazis. His home village of Majdan, near the town of Kovel, was occupied first by the Russians, and then by the Germans following Operation Barbarossa. Certain that their partisan sympathies would result in their deportation to Auschwitz, the Orzechowskis hid with family and friends until, in 1944, they were caught and sent to Dachau. There, they survived as slave laborers until the U.S. Army liberated the camp in April 1945. Their hometown now a part of the U.S.S.R., the Orzechowskis stayed in Displaced Persons camps until they were able to immigrate to the United States in 1949 were they worked off their debts on an Iowa Farm. After graduating high school in 1961, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard during the Vietnam War. After the war, he settled in Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked for AT&T for thirty years and raised two children with his wife, Barbara.
Jerry Orzechowski Interview, August 31, 2023, 2023-08-31, Legacy Series Oral History Program, 2013-, KSU/14/05/03/001, Museum of History and Holocaust Education, Kennesaw State University.
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