Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this book. I have read many books on this subject and..I don't know...the information in the book was very informative, but the style in which it was written, I just did not care for. It was actually hard for me to get through the entire book, because of the writing style and not the content.
The somewhat macabre title is a good intro to this book of short stories by Tadeusz Borowski, a Polish "Aryan" (i.e. non-Jewish) prisoner in Auschwitz and Birkenau. By the time he arrived in camp, they were no longer routinely executing "Aryan" prisoners, but only Jews. His matter-of-fact descriptions- of the most mundane occurences, as well as the most horrific, leaves the reader with a sense of unreality. How can this man, who survived and witnessed the most horrendous examples of cruelty, torture, mass executions, and inhumanity, write these stories which include examples of wry humorous observations of the prisoner's foibles and hopes for the future?
This is not an easy read- the subject matter is truly barbaric- but it is very worth reading. Borowski, a concentration camp victim himself, understood what human beings will do to endure the unendurable. These stories, considered a masterpiece of Polish Literature, stand as cruel testimony to the level of inhumanity of which man is capable.
Unfortunately, Borowski ended his own life by his own hand in 1951, 6 years after surviving his three years of slave labor in the camps.
All of the stories in this book are touching with some being far more powerful and unforgettable than others.
I think for a person who devours any and all books on the Holocaust this is a good addition but for someone who reads less on the subject this probably isn't a great one to add.
I can think of a dozen (or more) books I'd recommend before this one.
This collection of short stories by an Auschwitz survivor is a glimpse into the horrors of the concentration camp where people do whatever is necessary to survive. Although classified as fiction, it is clearly a chronicle of all that Borowksi participated in and observed. The arrival of the transports that brought thousands of people to a camp where they were then immediately dispatched to the gas chambers is just one of the horrific, unimaginable events that was a routine part of everyday life. The monstrous inhumanity of the Nazis is beyond comprehension to a sane mind.