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Famous Like Me > Actor > B > Tadeusz Borowski

Profile of Tadeusz Borowski on Famous Like Me

Name: Tadeusz Borowski  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 9th July 1941
Place of Birth: Warszawa, Poland
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Tadeusz Borowski
Tadeusz Borowski
Shortly after WWII
Born November 12, 1922
Zhytomir, Ukraine, Bolshevist Russia
Died July 1, 1951
Warsaw, Poland

Tadeusz Borowski (1922-1951) was a Polish writer and journalist, a Holocaust survivor. He committed suicide at 28 years of age.

Tadeusz Borowski was born in 1922 in Zhytomir in Ukraine, then USSR. His parents became victims of the USSR spy-hunting psychosis. In 1926, his father, a bookshop owner, whose shop was nationalized by the communists, was sent to a gulag in Karelia while his mother was arrested later the same year and sent to a gulag in Siberia, on the shores of the Yenisey river.

In 1932 Borowski and his brother were repatriated from the USSR to Poland thanks to the Polish Red Cross and settled in Warsaw. Their father was traded for communists arrested in Poland and their mother was released in 1934. In 1940 he finished his secondary school in a secret underground learning facility and started studying at the underground Warsaw University (Polish language and literature faculty). He also became involved in underground newspapers and started to publish his poems and short novels in Droga monthly. At the same time he was working as a warehouse night guard. In this period he wrote most of his wartime poetry. He also published (clandestinely) his first tome of poetry Gdziekolwiek Ziemia (Wherever the Earth).

In 1943 he was arrested by the Germans and sent to a series of concentration camps: first to Auschwitz, then to Natzweiler-Dautmergel, and finally to Dachau. He was forced into slave labor in extremely harsh conditions, which was later reflected in his works. He was also working on a railway ramp where all the people who were transferred directly from the trains to the gas chambers were leaving their private property. While a prisoner at Auschwitz, Borowski caught pneumonia; afterwards, he was put to work as a helper in a "hospital" where Nazi medical experiments were conducted upon the prisoners.

After the liberation in 1945 he moved for a short time to Munich, and on May 31, 1946 he returned to Poland. He found out that his wartime fiancée, with whom he was arrested in 1943 and with whom he lost any contact during his internment, has survived the camps and also returned to Poland.

He turned to prose since he believed that what he had to say could no longer be expressed in verse. The effect of his work was published as a series of short stories titled Pożegnanie z Marią (Farewell to Maria, English title This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen). He also joined the Polish Workers' Party and started work on several political sketches. Initially he believed that communism was the only political force that was truly capable of preventing any future Auschwitz from happening. In 1950 he received the National Literary Prize of II Degree. However, a friend of his was tortured by the Communists soon after, and he became completely disillusioned. If the communists were not capable of preventing future Auschwitzes then, perhaps, they would inevitably happen again. He committed suicide by breathing the gas from a gas stove on July 1, 1951.

His books became a classic piece of Polish post-war literature and influenced much of the Central European society. In 2002, Imre Kertész, while receiving the Nobel Prize said that all his works were written because of fascination with Borowski's prose.

Bibliography in English

  • This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (Pożegnanie z Marią), Penguin Books, London, 1992. 192 pages, hardcover. ISBN 0140186247.
  • We Were in Auschwitz (Byliśmy w Oświęcimiu), Natl Book Network, 2000. 212 pages, hardcover. ISBN 1566491231.

See also:

External links:

  • Borowski's poems and biography (English)
  • Night over Birkenau (English)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tadeusz Borowski