Bartnikowski’s stories are one of the most moving evidence of tragic fate of children in Auschwitz, the camp is shown from their perspective. The author describes hunger, fear, loneliness and despair of children who were uprooted from the safe world of their childhood and left at the mercy of violence and death. Dry narration intensifies dramatic nature of depicted scenes. The camp experience is deeply engraved in Bartnikowski’s memory. He said in one of his interviews: “I wanted to throw it away, get rid of it. Forever! I started to write down my memories and memories of my friends. I hoped that once they had been written they would be gone. Unfortunately, it did not happen so…”. The polish version of 'Childhood Behind Barbed Wire' was first published in 1969.
Bogdan Bartnikowski was born in Warsaw in 1932. At the beginning of August 1944 he joined the Warsaw Uprising and on 12th August was arrested along with his mother and sent to Auschwitz. His father died in the Uprising. After the war Bartnikowski and his mother returned to Warsaw. He graduated from the Polish Air Force Academy and in the years 1952-1982 served in the Polish Army. Additionally, he worked as a journalist in the military press where he made his debut as a prose writer. His first book, “Opowiadania nad chmurami” (Stories above Clouds), was published in 1969 and first volume of verse, “Strofy jesienne” (Autumn Strophes) in 1999.