Bogdan Bartnikowski was born in Warsaw in 1932. In 1944, as a result of the Warsaw Uprising, he and his mother are deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. There, the 12-year-old gets interned with other Polish youths in a barrack, separated from his mother. At the beginning, Bartnikowski does not have to work. Later on, however, he is forced to haul heavy bricks and push trolleys for transporting building materials. His time in the camp is marked by hunger and abuse by the SS. Bartnikowski desperately tries to keep in touch with his mother. In January 1945, as part of the so-called evacuation, the now 13-year-old is transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. There he has to clear rubble as part of an Außenkommando in Berlin-Blankenburg. Here, the Red Army liberates him on April 22nd.
After the liberation, Bogdan Bartnikowski returns to Poland. He graduates from high school before he starts a training as a pilot in the Polish Air Force. For many years, Bartnikowski is involved in the Warsaw Insurgent Association and processes his life experiences in a total of 23 books.