“I believe that humans rediscover humans – through love. And that this is the most important and lasting thing in human life.”
We Were in Auschwitz is a selection of stories by Polish author Tadeusz Borowski (1922 – 1951) inspired by his days spent in captivity in Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Dachau. Even though he only lived to be 28 years old and did not leave a quantitavely significant opus, Tadeusz Borowski remains a unique representative of Polish literature. In spite of this, the work of this true literary giant is almost completely unknown here.
In his provocative and cruel prose, void of any moralizing or politics, Borowski uses a cold and soulless perspective of an inmate Tadek to describe the world of bare survival in death camps. His main focus is what he considered to be the most Satanic and truly tragic aspect of a place where all human values are completely degraded – the crime logic which was perfected by the totalitarian system, to a never before seen degree in history – where victims’ humanity is raped, obedience is enforced under threat of death and turning man against man is calculated.
Published shortly after WWII and causing shock and debates in postwar Poland due to supposed nihilism and lack of faith in humanity, Tadeusz Borowski’s short stories are now generally considered a masterpiece of global literature.
Author: Tadeusz Borowski
Translator: Ivana Vidović-Bolt