The son of the Jewish couple Hans and Rosa Grabowski was born in 1911 in Posen. He also had three siblings Leopold, Siegfried and Miriam. He became a cantor and moved to Gleiwitz where he met Liesbeth Dorothea Wolff (30 April 1920 – March 1943). On 9th November 1938 (“Reichskristallnacht”) he was arrested and imprisoned in KZ Buchenwald. With the help of his brother Leopold who lived in Copenhagen Josef was released after a few weeks under the obligation to leave Germany immediately. He left for Norway in early 1939 where he was accepted as an immigrant but not acknowledged as a political refugee. He settled in Trondheim where the small Jewish community had offered him the position of cantor. There Liesbeth and Josef got married. He soon became an important factor both for the local music life and as the founder of a choir to support the liturgical ceremonies. His personal situation deteriorated when his request to prolong his residence permit was turned down by the new Norwegian NS authorities on 25 January 1941. After the Wannsee-conference had decided upon the total extermination of all Jews, the Reichskommissariat Norwegen began to persecute and imprison all the Jewish inhabitants in Norway systematically in the fall of 1942. Finally, Grabowski was sent to Falstad on 9 October 1942, and stayed there for six weeks. On 25 November 1942, he was deported and died in Auschwitz-Birkenau in consequence of hardest compulsory labor on 3 March 1943. His wife Liesbeth was deported to Auschwitz as well and was killed in the gas chamber immediately after her arrival in March 1943.