This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Paperback Penguin Twentieth Century Classics

By (author) Tadeusz Borowski, Translated by Michael Kandel, Translated by Barbara Vedder, Introduction by Jan Kott

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  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 14mm | 118g
  • Publication date: 26 November 1992
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140186247
  • ISBN 13: 9780140186246
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Sales rank: 30,642

Product description

Tadeusz Borowski's concentration camp stories were based on his own experiences surviving Auschwitz and Dachau. In spare, brutal prose he describes a world where the will to survive overrides compassion and prisoners eat, work and sleep a few yards from where others are murdered; where the difference between human beings is reduced to a second bowl of soup, an extra blanket or the luxury of a pair of shoes with thick soles; and where the line between normality and abnormality vanishes. Published in Poland after the Second World War, these stories constitute a masterwork of world literature.

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Editorial reviews

The nightmare become daylight reality and pursued with a cold logic... Auschwitz, Birkenau. Tadeusz Borowski spent the years from 1943-45 in concentration camps; released at the end of the war, he could not come to terms with "the world of stone," killed himself. But he had already written, if not the "immortal epic" he envisioned, a series of incisive, indelible stories that form a cumulative portrait of life in a concentration camp. The narrator Tadek is a non-Jew, a Polish student, a prison laborer who at times plays soccer while people walk on to the fake bathhouses, where the prison diversion is the procession of the doomed and the only charity, deceit as to their destination. Where Red Cross trucks transport gas for the daily round and the pall of the chamber hangs over each prisoner's head. Where on a night without soup even human brains are considered for edibility. "There is no crime that man, will not commit in order to save himself," the author declares toward the close of these insights into the determination to survive. The anguished vision cost him his life; it remains a telling legacy. (Kirkus Reviews)