KZ GUSEN MEMORIAL COMMITTEE

within ARBEITSKREIS FUER HEIMAT-, DENKMAL- UND GESCHICHTSPFLEGE (AHDG)
and Local-International Platform ST. GEORGEN/GUSEN, Austria

KZ Mauthausen-GUSEN Info-Pages


Poetry in KZ Gusen


Konstanty Cwierk


Konstanty Cwierk was one of the leading Polish poets in KZ Gusen I Concentration Camp. He was captured in 1940 and came via KZ Dachau Camp to KZ Gusen. Between 1940 and 1944 he created an uncountable number of poems in that concentration camp. Some of them are:
1942
Marsz Gusenowcow (KZ Gusen March; music by Gracjan Guzinski)
1943
Golgotha (Music by Gracjan Guzinski)
1944
Chleb (Bread)
1944
Modlitwa wiznia Gusen (KZ Gusen Prayer)
1944
Modlitwa Heftlinga (Prisoers´ Prayer)
Some of his texts were set to music by his Polish comrade Gracjan Guzinski.

Unfortunaltey, Konstanty Cwierk did not survive KZ Gusen Camp. He died there like thousands of his compatriots in 1944.

Other polish poets that were at KZ Gusen are:

Jean Cayrol de l´Academie Goncourt


Between February 1944 and April 1945 the world-famous author Jean Cayrol created a large number of poetry at the KZ Gusen I camp. In this period he was forced to work at the final inspection (Endkontrolle) in one of the numerous "Steyr-Georgenmuehle" workshops of the KZ Gusen I camp.

When he arrived in 1943 at KZ Gusen, he was one of the youngest inmates from France and had to do hardest work along with the construction of roads and railways. His life was saved by Dr. Johannes Gruber (the Saint of Gusen) that gave him of his "Gruber soup" in the washroom of barrack No. 20 when Jean Cayrol wanted to die by refusing any further food. By intervention of Dr. Gruber, Jean Cayrol also was transferred to the more easier job at the final-inspection, where he was able to write that literature during breaks.

Cayrol also wrote the text for "Chant d´ Espoire" that was set to music by his comrad Remy Gillis in 1944 at KZ Gusen I Camp too.

A collection of Cayrol´s texts was published in 1997 in the booklet mentioned below.


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Martha Gammer, Siegi Witzany-Durda and
Jan-Ruth White with her students in US-Alabama