Pięć lat kacetu ("Five Years in Concentration Camps") by Stanisław Grzesiuk will be published in German by the Austrian publishing house New Academic Press (NAP). The NAP is planning to premiere the book in 2020.
“My grandfather would be genuinely touched that the book will be published in the country where he spent 5 years in concentration camps," says Izabela Laszuk, granddaughter of Stanisław Grzesiuk. “Of course, one could complain that this will only happen 75 years after the end of the Second World War, and it should have happened earlier. But I prefer to see it this way: it is never too late to read books that change your mind. I am glad that a prestigious publishing house decided to pick Five Years in Concentration Camps, because to me, this book is a vaccine against every hateful ideology. I hope that one day, I will see this title on the list of required readings in Polish schools.”
Professor Józef Rurawski, a literary scholar and close friend of Stanisław Grzesiuk, states, “I have repeated many a time that Stasiek was an absolutely extraordinary figure, deserving of true social memory. I am glad that he will have a chance to speak to readers in another language, although it will be the language which his greatest trauma in life was connected with. But can one imagine a better closing for the story of a simple boy from Czerniakow, who became the voice of hundreds of thousands of prisoners?
The Austrian edition would not have been possible without the initiative and involvement of the team of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vienna, which applied to the NAP with this idea, mediated in talks between the Polish and Austrian publishers, supported the publishing house in raising funds, including from the Austrian Zukunftsfonds, ensured partial financing of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and found an excellent translator. Monika Szmigiel-Turlej, Deputy Ambassador to Vienna (until August 2019), driving force of the project, says “After the publication of the book, we plan, as an embassy, a series of promotional events in cooperation with Austrian institutions, including the Mauthausen Memorial. Thanks to its accessible and vivid language and the many timeless messages it conveys, this book has a chance to be met with great interest in both Austria and Germany. The promotion of Grzesiuk’s book will also bring back the memory of the place and the tens of thousands of prisoners of the Nazi concentration camp Mauthausen-Gusen.
The book will be published by June 2020.