Auschwitz in ten perspectives. Special publication on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Museum
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Museum’s creation, we published a selection of the most interesting memoirs, authorship of former prisoners of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
'At a time when fewer and fewer survivors and eyewitnesses to the camp atrocities are among us; we the post-war generations must rediscover the great truth about man, written in the accounts of former prisoners. The story of Auschwitz cannot be reduced to a dry history lecture, since they are primarily the sum of tragic, traumatic experiences of specific persons, who after the war took upon themselves the responsibility of sharing with the world the enormous pain of their camp experience,' said director of the Auschwitz Museum, Dr Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
According to the head of the Museum’s Publishing House Jadwiga Pinderska-Lech, the ten publications that make up this bibliophile edition are ten varying perspective views of Auschwitz. 'The authors differ in all aspects: age, and consequently wealth of experience, as well as intellectual formation, nationality and above all fate in the camp,' saidJadwiga Pinderska-Lech.
Amongst them are Jews condemned to extermination and those miraculously saved, such as: Halina Birenbaum, Primo Levi, Miklós Nyiszli or Elie Wiesel, as well as non-Jews, arrested primarily for activities in the resistance movement, such as: Charlotte Delbo, Adolf Gawalewicz, Wiesław Kielar, Hermann Langbein and Seweryna Szmaglewska. The whole is complemented by the memories of the Polish Catholic priest, Adam Ziemba.
'All these stories of specific individuals perfectly show the complexity of the Auschwitz history: as the extermination centre of European Jews, but also a concentration camp, a place of slave labour and a place where the prisoners fought persistently in various ways not only for survival, but also for preserving human dignity. These books are like pieces of a puzzle, each of which adds important information to the overall look. A puzzle that was in fact never completed - emphasized Jadwiga Pinderska-Lech.
The publication of the edition, available in Polish and English was possible due to the financial support of Volkswagen AG.
Authors and titles:
Halina Birenbaum, Hope is the Last to Die
Charlotte Delbo, None of Us Will Return
Adolf Gawalewicz, Reflections in the Gas Chamber’s Waiting Room: From the Memoirs of a Muselmann
Wiesław Kielar, Anus Mundi. Five Years in Auschwitz
Hermann Langbein, People in Auschwitz
Primo Levi, If this is a Man
Miklós Nyiszli, I Was Doctor Mengele’s Assistant
Seweryna Szmaglewska, Smoke over Birkenau
Elie Wiesel, Night
Adam Ziemba, A Piece of Bread