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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13Focusing on the Holocaust and its Aftermath$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774600

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.001.0001

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Paper Epitaphs of a Holocaust Memorial: Zofia Nałkowska’s Medallions

Paper Epitaphs of a Holocaust Memorial: Zofia Nałkowska’s Medallions

(p.179) Paper Epitaphs of a Holocaust Memorial: Zofia Nałkowska’s Medallions
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13

Diana Kuprel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses Zofa Nałkowska's literary Holocaust memorial Medallions, which was written in 1945 and first published in 1946. Considered a masterpiece in anti-fascist world literature, Medallions is the literary offspring of Nałkowska's wartime and commission experiences. It also stands as the culmination of her stylistic, formal, and thematic literary evolution. Medallions is one of the first, and most important, in the flow of literary accounts to take up the challenge to represent the Nazi machinery of genocide. Avoiding the tendency to mythologize the victims as either heroes or martyrs, it offers instead a concise, severely elegant witness to what people experienced in Poland during the war as distilled from the mass of facts gathered while Nałkowska served as a member of the Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes in Auschwitz.

Keywords:   Zofa Nałkowska, literary Holocaust memorial, Holocaust, Medallions, anti-fascist world literature, Nazi genocide, Holocaust victims, Poland, Second World War

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