Vincenta Bukowski was born in 1913 in Wrzesnia, Poland. She was raised Catholic, and her faith in God and Jesus Christ helped her survive through the traumatic and horrific years she spent in a concentration camp.
The Germans occupied Wrzesnia in 1941 when Vincenta was 28 years old. Germans came to her home demanding compliance of her brothers to fight for the German army. Her patriotic, Polish family refused them. The Germans, at first, backed off but came back a few days later. Vincenta yelled at them to leave her and her family alone. One of the Germans hit Vincenta. They took her family and abandoned them deep in the woods. Vincenta’s family made it back to town weeks later, but Vincenta was put on a boxcar and sent to Dachau.
Vincenta arrived at Dachau in 1942 and remained there until the American Army liberated the camp in 1945. Dachau housed Polish resistance fighters and Catholics. The camp kept Jews in a separate area and treated them far worse. Nevertheless, Vincenta was forced to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Vincenta maintained her religious faith and led the prisoners in prayer to help keep faith alive.
After the camp was liberated Vincenta married Antoni Bukowski and lived in Germany with their four children for a few years. They immigrated to the United States in 1951.