Arnold Distler: 1922—2000

(Arnold Distler (right) and his brother Joseph (left), who did not survive.)

My father was born in Boryslaw, Poland in 1922. He survived the War by escaping from a German Forced Labour Camp and hiding in an underground bunker that he and his friends constructed in the forest.

He rarely spoke of his experiences during the War, but in 1993, he did consent to do this interview as part of the Living Testimonies project at McGill University. It's a remarkable story — remarkable enough that it ought to be available to the world (or, at least, to those parts of the world with an fast internet connection).

The video is indexed, and you can skip to a particular section from the popup menu (which initially looks like “Pre-War years”). The sections correspond, roughly, to the chronology, below.

Below, you'll also find my father's architectural drawings, detailing the contruction of the bunkers. They are discussed at the end of the video. There's much more information about Boryslaw and it environs, both before and during the War, at this website.

The Interview (click to begin)

Architectural drawings of the bunkers:


Arnold Distler's notes for the interview: