Title: Illicit Letters from Auschwitz
Author: Janusz Pogonowski

Oświęcim 2000
Number of pages: 86   +  50 illustrations

Availability: In stock
Size: 14 cm x 21 cm

ISBN: 83-85047-65-4

Price: 4.70 EUR

Janusz Pogonowski was born on 9 August 1922 to a doctor's family in Cracow. In May 1940 he was arrested in Szpitalna Street as a result of a largescale German operation against the Polish Intelligentsia (Action AB). Although Janusz had no charges pressed against him, for one and half months they kept him in prison, Montelupich in Cracow and next in Tarnów. On 14 June 1940 he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. He was only 17 years and 10 months old at the time. As a reprisal for the escape of three prisoners from the Surveyor's Kommando, Janusz and eleven other prisoners were hanged during evening roll call on 19 July 1943.

He left behind secret letters where he describes the Gehenna of Auschwitz, his dramatic experiences, a young man's yearning for freedom and kinfolk from whom he had been separated. They are a moving testimony to the bestiality inflicted on the Polish nation by the German occupant, ruining the harmony and lives of millions of Polish families. The inflicted wounds have left painful memories and to this day cast a shadow over the lives of those who experienced the war and occupation.

The excerpts from the book:

"I do not begrudge anyone else their freedom but I feel so very lonely. Death would not be so terrible for me if only I knew that I would see you in the last moments of my life.(...)"

"Every time I think of you all, tears well up in my eyes and it is difficult for me to hold them back. I have grown accustomed to human wretchedness and abuse, it no longer makes any impression on me, but any word from you or about you moves me deeply."

"... there is nothing dearer on this earth - than family love ..."

"For a long time during my stay here, I was spiritually empty inside. This was perhaps because I was constantly hungry and at the same time I had to work very hard. My mind was, therefore, focused on finding something to eat and making full use of every opportunity to rest. And that's how it really was, my struggle to survive so absorbed me that I may have even forgotten about my family and that I had to also work on my soul. After two years inside, it finally happened that I felt very dissatisfied with moral state. (...)"

"Many a time when I talk with my friends about what the future might hold for us, that is about freedom, diverse plans are expounded.(...) When I am set free, what I desire is to work for the glory of God, Honour and Country."

"...I'm living by the principles I took from home, the way I've been brought up. I'm working on myself and constantly making progress."

This book is available also in:
1. German
2. Italian
3. French

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