Agnieszka Dobkiewicz – girls from Gross-Rosen. Forgotten stories from camp hell “- review and evaluation | Historical portal Histmag.org

Agnieszka Dobkiewicz – girls from Gross-Rosen. Forgotten stories from camp hell ”- review and evaluation

Agnieszka Dobkiewicz

Girls from Gross-Rosen. Forgotten stories from camp hell “

Rating: 9

44.99 PLN

Publisher: Horizon sign

Year of publication: 2021

Cover: difficult

Number of pages: 400

Premiere: 01/09/2021

ISBN: 978-83-240-7966-7

EAN: 9788324079667

The Gross-Rosen concentration camp was established less than a year after the outbreak of World War II in Lower Silesia, then part of the Third Reich. During its five years of existence, the camp has covered about a hundred sub-camps and branches not only in Germany but also in Silesia and the Czech Republic. It is difficult to determine the exact number of small documents that the Germans destroyed at the end of the war. The history of the camp is still the subject of research and publications, with the authors trying to preserve the memory of the human nightmare experienced by prisoners and female prisoners.

This was the goal of journalist Agnieszka Dobkiewicz, who focused on Lower Silesia in her publications and promoted its history, as well as through the Idea Foundation. Znak also published his previous book, Mala Nuremberg. Stories of Gross-Rosen executioners. He decided to continue the theme of the camp, but changed his perspective and focused on the victims, not the torturers. the fruit of his latest book, Girls from Gross-Rosen. Forgotten stories from camp hell.

The book presents the fate of six women: Ruth Eldar, Felice Schragenheim, Fela Szeps, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Aliza Besser and Halina Elczewska. Each of them ended up in Gross Rosen at both the war and at various stages of their lives, some were still teenagers and others were young married women. They, too, remained in separate arms, never met, and in fact united them only as captives of one camp. Such destinies were chosen by the author because he wanted to portray the heroes of the book as individuals, each with his own history and experiences. There are short biographies before the chapters that contain the most important information about their lives, but these dry facts later turn into extremely emotional and moving stories. The main emphasis, of course, is on the camp experiences, which are described very clearly in the book, full of unimaginable suffering.

Much attention is paid to the heroes’ past and pre-prison lives, which makes them more than examples of brutal treatment of women prisoners, they are full-blooded characters, and we must accept them as such. Unfortunately, not all of the six women came to a happy ending and freedom, but there were different approaches to the trauma of the survivors, some refused to talk about it, while others, on the contrary, devoted a large part of their lives to cherishing their memory. survivors.

Agnieszka Dobkiewicz used a variety of sources, archival materials, including the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Institute in Jerusalem, research and publications, including books by one of the heroes, Ruth Eldar, as well as magazines, memoirs and interviews. families and friends should present each story as accurately as possible. Undoubtedly, he was able to capture the individuality of each hero, give them depth and make the reader feel emotionally connected with them. An empathic and sensitive approach to the subject has enriched the book, which has historically been very well developed, and the author checks and corrects what the characters say, trying to present the story faithfully. It is impossible not to mention the archival photos, which allow you to get to know the protagonists better, to communicate with them, and sometimes even to feel their pain.

Girls from Gross-Rosen. Forgotten Stories from Camp Hell “is undoubtedly a book with a great emotional burden, there is no cold presentation of facts here, the stories are meant to move the reader, to worry him about the fate of these six women described. This is not an easy read, but it is necessary not only for them, but also for those who survived the nightmares of the camps. I definitely recommend!

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