Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land

By Sara Nomberg-Przytyk; Eli Pefferkorn et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


The original Polish typescript of this book, dated 1966, is on deposit in the Yad Vashem Archive, where it was discovered by Eli Pfefferkorn. When I first undertook to translate a forty-page segment of typescript, supported by a generous grant from Mr. Sigmund Strochlitz, I knew nothing about the author, not even whether she was still alive. It took no more than a few minutes of reading for me to recognize that I was dealing with an author of unusual talent. It was not that the manuscript broke new ground on the general nature of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death factory, for by the time I started translating, in September 1981, the horrors had already been docu0mented many times over. What struck me about this manuscript was the author's ability to make the characters in the camp emerge as unique individuals, even against the backdrop of camp depersonalization and imminent extermination. Here was a readable, dramatically compelling account, not simply of the author's consciousness, but of the people in the camp who were caught in the meatgrinder of history -- not only prisoners but captors as well.

In May 1982, aided by a travel grant from the American Philosophical Society, I was able to go to Jerusalem and, with the kind assistance of Danuta Dombrowska and Shalmi Barmore of Yad Vashem, obtain a copy of the entire typescript of about two hundred pages. My next step, on returning to the United States, was to determine whether the manuscript had been published in any form. A check of the British Museum Catalogue and of the NUC of the Library of Congress revealed that a Sara Nomberg-Przytyk had published a book entitled Columny Samsona (The Pillars of Samson) in Lublin, Poland, in 1966. After obtaining one of the few copies available in this country, via interlibrary loan, I soon discovered that The Pillars of Samson narrated events in the Bialystok Ghetto up to the time of its liquidation, at which point the author had been transported to the Stutthof concentration camp. Since Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land starts with the author's being transported from Stutthof to Auschwitz, and since


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 185

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?