Socialist Worker

What I read to the dead: Wladyslaw Szlengel

Issue No. 2351

In this radio show Eva Hoffman explores the poetry and life of Wladyslaw Szlengel—poet of the Warsaw Ghetto. 

Before the war he wrote lyrics for popular tunes sung in nightclubs. In the ghetto he also wrote bulletins for fellow inmates and for their Polish neighbours.

We are lucky that his beautiful, angry, poems  survived at all. 

Some were memorised by survivors. Others were found in a buried archive and some turned up decades later hidden in a table.

Szlengel wrote, “I am looking through and sorting the poems that were written to those who are no more. Read it. This is our history. This is what I read to the dead.”


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Article information

Tue 30 Apr 2013, 16:34 BST
Issue No. 2351
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