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Tom 60 (2021)

Izolacja a obóz koncentracyjny. Prolegomena

  • Arkadiusz Kurek
31 grudnia 2021


Everyone is created to live in a herd, a group of people with whom they build a community. The community may be the family home, friends, acquaintances from work, the backyard or even
the street. We feel better when we meet other people. When modern man speaks of isolation, he thinks only of closing himself off at home, peace and quiet, lack of contact with his family or going off into the unknown. He does not think of the forced isolation that prevailed among people in wartime. It determined everyday life, changed people’s values and dehumanised them. The worst was the camp isolation, which took people by surprise. No one expected that someone could deprive people of their lives, away from family and friends. Isolation can be divided into sectors: internal and external. With time it is possible to get out of it. A person’s attitude and the presence of other helpful people can help. People in the camp escaped isolation in different ways. The longing for love, the touch of another human being, tenderness and a smile had different faces. One of the themes of camp life was children going to slaughter. They did not realise that they would disappear from the face of the earth together with their parents. Smiling, carefree children were not afraid of anything, they felt no fear or exclusion. International cooperation was the order of the day in many camps. Although the women did not know the language, they used gestures, similar expressions. Each of the women prisoners sensed their fate and therefore needed each other’s help. No matter what country the prisoners came from, no matter what part of Europe, they all fought to survive. For many of them the camp became a home, where relationships proved beneficial. The escape from camp “happiness” was all-day work outside the camp. Prisoners would go out on purpose to do hard work in the fi elds, digging pits, in order not to see what was going on in the camp. The variety of isolation is beyond comparison. It is possible to live in isolation, to have contact with others, but to be well aware that one day normality will return. The people in the camp also had hope, but they knew that this hope could end rather quickly for them — in the crematorium.