Gustaw Morcinek; blessed priest Emil Szramek; book; literature; contentration camp; library
Bibliotheca Nostra. Śląski Kwartalnik Naukowy, 2015, nr 1, s. 137-148
Even in the most diffi cult conditions of concentration camp hell, Gustaw Morcinek and
blessed Father Emil Szramek both upheld certain "greater values", that they experienced on
an existential level. The writer survived camp hardship thanks to e.g. remaining faithful to
two fundamental pillars that gave him strength: the support of his dear ones and books that
were passed among fellow inmates.
Books had a special place in Blessed Father Emil Szramek’s life. He did not survive
imprisonment in the concentration camp. Each and every single encounter with a book was
a personal experience. The choice of books the inmates read was largely random as they read
whatever they could get. Books counterbalanced the overwhelming negativity, so harmful to
the mental state, as they helped to distract and gave hope.