Search results for: a-memoir-of-the-warsaw-uprising

A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising

Author : Miron Bialoszewski
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On August 1, 1944, Miron Białoszewski, later to gain renown as one of Poland’s most innovative poets, went out to run an errand for his mother and ran into history. With Soviet forces on the outskirts of Warsaw, the Polish capital revolted against five years of Nazi occupation, an uprising that began in a spirit of heroic optimism. Sixty-three days later it came to a tragic end. The Nazis suppressed the insurgents ruthlessly, reducing Warsaw to rubble while slaughtering some 200,000 people, mostly through mass executions. The Red Army simply looked on. Białoszewski’s blow-by-blow account of the uprising brings it alive in all its desperate urgency. Here we are in the shoes of a young man slipping back and forth under German fire, dodging sniper bullets, collapsing with exhaustion, rescuing the wounded, burying the dead. An indispensable and unforgettable act of witness, A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising is also a major work of literature. Białoszewski writes in short, stabbing, splintered, breathless sentences attuned to “the glaring identity of ‘now.’” His pages are full of a white-knuckled poetry that resists the very destruction it records. Madeline G. Levine has extensively revised her 1977 translation, and passages that were unpublishable in Communist Poland have been restored.

Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter

Author : Śimḥah Rotem
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Recounts the struggle against the Nazi takeover of Warsaw and provides an account of the author's activities as head courier for the ZOB, the Jewish Fighting Organization.

A Surplus of Memory

Author : Yitzhak ("Antek") Zuckerman
File Size : 60.48 MB
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In 1943, against utterly hopeless odds, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up to defy the Nazi horror machine that had set out to exterminate them. One of the leaders of the Jewish Fighting Organization, which led the uprisings, was Yitzhak Zuckerman, known by his underground pseudonym, Antek. Decades later, living in Israel, Antek dictated his memoirs. The Hebrew publication of Those Seven Years: 1939-1946 was a major event in the historiography of the Holocaust, and now Antek's memoirs are available in English. Unlike Holocaust books that focus on the annihilation of European Jews, Antek's account is of the daily struggle to maintain human dignity under the most dreadful conditions. His passionate, involved testimony, which combines detail, authenticity, and gripping immediacy, has unique historical importance. The memoirs situate the ghetto and the resistance in the social and political context that preceded them, when prewar Zionist and Socialist youth movements were gradually forged into what became the first significant armed resistance against the Nazis in all of occupied Europe. Antek also describes the activities of the resistance after the destruction of the ghetto, when 20,000 Jews hid in "Aryan" Warsaw and then participated in illegal immigration to Palestine after the war. The only extensive document by any Jewish resistance leader in Europe, Antek's book is central to understanding ghetto life and underground activities, Jewish resistance under the Nazis, and Polish-Jewish relations during and after the war. This extraordinary work is a fitting monument to the heroism of a people.

Warsaw Boy

Author : Andrew Borowiec
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Warsaw Boy is the remarkable true story of a sixteen-year old boy soldier in war-torn Poland. Poland suffered terribly under the Nazis. By the end of the war six million had been killed: some were innocent civilians - half of them were Jews - but the rest died as a result of a ferocious guerrilla war the Poles had waged. On 1 August 1944 Andrew Borowiec, a fifteen-year-old volunteer in the Resistance, lobbed a grenade through the shattered window of a Warsaw apartment block onto some German soldiers running below. 'I felt I had come of age. I was a soldier and I'd just tried to kill some of our enemies'. The Warsaw Uprising lasted for 63 days: Himmler described it as 'the worst street fighting since Stalingrad'. Yet for the most part the insurgents were poorly equipped local men and teenagers - some of them were even younger than Andrew. Over that summer Andrew faced danger at every moment, both above and below ground as the Poles took to the city's sewers to creep beneath the German lines during lulls in the fierce counterattacks. Wounded in a fire fight the day after his sixteenth birthday and unable to face another visit to the sewers, he was captured as he lay in a makeshift cellar hospital wondering whether he was about to be shot or saved. Here he learned a lesson: there were decent Germans as well as bad. From one of the most harrowing episodes of the Second World War, this is an extraordinary tale of survival and defiance recounted by one of the few remaining veterans of Poland's bravest summer. Andrew Borowiec dedicates this book to all the Warsaw boys, 'especially those who never grew up'. Andrew Borowiec was born at Lodz in Poland in 1928. At fifteen he joined the Home Army, the main Polish resistance during the Second World War, and fought in the ill-fated Warsaw Uprising. After the war he left Poland and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Cyprus with his English wife Juliet.

That the Nightingale Return

Author : Leokadia Rowinska
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On August 1, 1944, Leokadia Rowinski and fellow members of the Polish Resistance movement saw the culmination of their five years of training--the Warsaw Uprising. Six weeks later, she celebrated her twenty-first birthday.As a member of the Resistance, Rowinski witnessed firsthand the devastation that World War II brought to Poland. While continuing her schooling in the clandestine education system established upon German occupation, she worked in the Resistance's communication services, often dodging German snipers and soldiers to deliver military orders to Resistance leaders. She was captured by the Germans after the Warsaw Uprising and spent six months in P.O.W. camps before being liberated by the Polish 1st Armored Division, an expatriate army under British command that included her future husband. This poignant story of a young woman's coming of age in war is a vivid reminder of the horror inflicted upon Poland in World War II and beyond.

Survival Artist

Author : Eugene Bergman
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This vividly detailed memoir describes the experiences of a Holocaust survivor who narrowly escaped death by living a childhood of constant vigil and, along with his family, continuously dodging the ever-present threat of a Nazi capture. After the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Bergman family’s hometown became an increasingly dangerous city in which to live, as evidenced by the author’s account of being struck deaf by the butt of a German soldier’s rifle while playing in the street with other children. Though traumatic and certainly life-threatening, this vicious attack would ultimately save his life several times. The story continues with vivid accounts of the family’s narrow escapes to (and from) the Lodz, Warsaw, and Czestochowa ghettos, describing some of the more horrific vignettes of life in the Jewish ghetto and detailing how some members of the family survived through a fortuitous combination of luck, skilled deception, and an underlying will to live.

Twenty Years with the Jewish Labor Bund

Author : Bernard Goldstein
File Size : 39.19 MB
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Bernard Goldstein’s memoir describes a hard world of taverns, toughs, thieves, and prostitutes; of slaughterhouse workers, handcart porters, and wagon drivers; and of fist-and gunfights with everyone from anti-Semites and Communists to hostile police, which is to say that it depicts a totally different view of life in prewar Poland than the one usually portrayed. As such, the book offers a corrective view in the form of social history, one that commands attention and demands respect for the vitality and activism of the generation of Polish Jews so brutally annihilated by the barbarism of the Nazis.In Warsaw, a city with over 300,000 Jews (one third of the population), Bernstein was the Jewish Labor Bund’s “enforcer,” organizer, and head of their militia—the one who carried out daily, on-the-street organization of unions; the fighting off of Communists, Polish anti-Semitic hooligans, and antagonistic police; marshaling and protecting demonstrations; and even settling family disputes, some of them arising from the new secular, socialist culture being fostered by the Bund.Goldstein’s is a portrait of tough Jews willing to do battle—worldly, modern individuals dedicated to their folk culture and the survival of their people. It delivers an unparalleled street-level view of vibrant Jewish life in Poland between the wars: of Jewish masses entering modern life, of Jewish workers fighting for their rights, of optimism, of greater assertiveness and self-confidence, of armed combat, and even of scenes depicting the seamy, semi-criminal elements. It provides a representation of life in Poland before the great catastrophe of World War II, a life of flowering literary activity, secular political journalism, successful political struggle, immersion in modern politics, fights for worker rights and benefits, a strong social-democratic labor movement, creation of a secular school system in Yiddish, and a youth movement that later provided the heroic fighters for the courageous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Kingdom of Insignificance

Author : Joanna Nizynska
File Size : 90.36 MB
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In one of the first scholarly book in English on Miron Bialoszewski (1922–1983), Joanna Nizynska illuminates the elusive prose of one of the most compelling and challenging postwar Polish writers. Nizynska’s study, exemplary in its use of theoretical concepts, introduces English-language readers to a preeminent voice of Polish literature. Nizynska explores how a fusion of seemingly irreconcilable qualities, such as the traumatic and the everyday, imbues Bialoszewski’s writing with its idiosyncratic appeal. Bialoszewski’s A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising (1977, revised 1991) describes the Poles’ heroic struggle to liberate Warsaw from Nazi occupation in 1944 as harrowing yet ordinary. His later prose represents everyday life permeated by traces of the traumatic. Nizynska closely examines the topic of autobiography and homosexuality, showing how Bialoszewski discloses his homosexuality but, paradoxically, renders it inconspicuous by hiding it in plain sight.

Beyond the Uprising

Author : Cynthia Grant Bowman
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Cynthia Grant Bowman is a professor of law at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York. She met the subject of this biography, Maria Chudzinski, while teaching at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where Maria worked in the international section of the law library. Maria was born in Poland before the German invasion and the Second World War and joined the underground resistance, or Home Army, as a teenager. She fought during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and was taken prisoner by the Germans when the city fell. In 1945 Maria moved to England, where she was a member of the Polish Air Force, ultimately settling in Chicago in 1952. She has been very active in the Polish-American community in Chicago since that time. Intrigued by Marias past, Professor Bowman asked her to tell her story. This book is the result.

Memoirs of a Hidden Child During the Holocaust

Author : Bronislawa Alland
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A translation, from the original Polish, of the memoirs of a hidden child in Warsaw from 1942 until 1944. The author spent the last year of the war in a German labor camp under a false Polish Catholic identity. This document is unique in that it was written right after the war, starting in December 1945 while the events were still fresh in memory.