2015 | 1 |
Article title

Ogród życia i ogród śmierci – dwie egzystencje w obozie. Eden kontra Auschwitz

Title variants
The Garden of Life and the Garden of Death – Two Instances of Existence in a Camp. Eden vs. Auschwitz
Languages of publication
The garden of life and the garden of death – two instances of existence in a camp Eden vs. Auschwitz In her article the author describes the ways in which the prisoners of the Sonderkommando KL Auschwitz‑Birkenau experienced the space of the camp. The form of perceiving and describing the camp forces one to submit to the conditioning of the description by two interrelated topoi. The imagined garden of life and the garden of death, i.e. two areas which were experienced by the prisoners in the camp and which were traversed by them during their work, inspired in those prisoners a feeling of awe, of transgressing a taboo and of embracing the structure of a myth. The text indicates the factors which in the memories constitute the narration about the living and the dead areas of the camp, and which are an interesting instance of creating a memory about this place. Recycling the elements of life and death, the mixing of the categories of the living and the dead which attracts the attention of the reader of the memoirs of the former prisoners and of the one who engages in a conversation with them. An important role in the formation of these concepts is also played by the visual iconography which is analysed by the author (photographs taken in the camp, sketches and drawings made by the former prisoners). In the text an attempt was made to reproduce the structure of the extreme experiences of the prisoners of the Sonderkommando, by researching the particular elements of their accounts which refer to various recurrent themes such as the pure – impure opposition, the images of the bodies which fall out from the gas chamber, gassing people, the “dead area” (graves and post‑incineration pits), nakedness and the camp trees as the permanent reference points which recur in the recollections of the prisoners. Key words: Auschwitz, Sonderkommando, gas chamber, nature
Physical description
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.