‚ÄúIn Borowski‚Äôs Auschwitz stories, the difference between executioner and victim is stripped of all greatness and photos; it is brutally reduced to a second bowl of soup, an extra blanket, or the luxury of a silk shirt and shoes with thick soles..‚ÄĚ – from the Introduction
Published in Poland after World War II, this collection of concentration camp stories shows atrocious war crimes becoming an unremarkable part of a daily routine. Prisoners eat, work, sleep, and fall in love a few yards from where other prisoners are systematically slaughtered. The will to survive overrides compassion, and the line between the normal and the abnormal wavers, then vanishes. Borowski, a concentration camp victim himself, understood what human beings will do to endure the unendurable.
Together, these stories constitute a masterpiece of world literature and stand as cruel testimony to the level of inhumanity of which man is capable.