Zofia Łyś, nee Bondyra, was a 15 year old girl when she and her entire family were arrested as part of the German deportation of the Polish population from the Zamość region. On 13 December 1942, Zofia was sent to Auschwitz. "Our entire village and the inhabitants of the surrounding villages were arrested," she recalled years later. She was assigned to work in the "Effektenkammer"" and later worked on the farm in a small sub-camp in Babice. From Auschwitz she was deported to the camps of Natzweiler, Ravensbrück, Berlin-Köpenick (work at the Siemens factory) and Sachsenhausen. She was liberated near Schwerin during a death march. Her parents and brother died in Auschwitz-Birkenau, her sisters survived the war.
For many years, Ms. Łyś participated in meetings with young Poles and Germans, hosted at the IYMC. Those who had the opportunity to get to know her, remember her unwavering faith in others, her caring, openness, and brilliant sense of humor. Kind and gentle, but also courageous in her judgments, she reached the hearts of her interlocutors, who were often younger than she was when she was arrested. Zofia Łyś died on 19 February 2011. She rests at the municipal cemetery in Oświęcim. We miss talking to you, dear Zofia.