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:


  • Marsz Gusenowcow (KZ Gusen March; music by Gracjan Guzinski)


  • Golgotha (Music by Gracjan Guzinski)


  • Chleb (Bread)
  • Modlitwa wiznia Gusen (KZ Gusen Prayer)
  • 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:

  • Mieczyslaw Cieniak
  • Zbigniew Filarski
  • Waclaw Gazinski
  • Jozef Gruszczynski
  • Tadeusz Jarzecki, inmate No. 93506
  • Bronislaw Kaminski
  • Czeslaw Leski
  • Stefan Niewada
  • Bernard Nogaj
  • S. Niefan
  • Gustaw Przeczek
  • Mieczyslaw Paszkiewicz
  • Jerzy Piwinski
  • Michal Rusinek
  • Rzepczak Saturnin, inmate No. 105818
  • Grzegorz Timofiejew
  • Jan Tarasiewicz
  • Wlodzimierz Wnuk
  • Zdzislaw Jan Wroblewski
  • Bogdan Zalewski
  • Stanislaw Zawadzki, inmate No. 96409
  • Kazimierz Zurek
  • Klemens Lebensart, a later mathematics professor in Warszawa

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 KZ Gusen I. 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. Johann Gruber (the Saint of Gusen) who 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.

Recommended literature:

  • Cayrol Jean de l´academie Goncourt, Alerte aux ombres 1944-1945 – poemes ecrits das un atelier d´une petite usine du camp Gusen-Mauthausen, Editions du Seuil, Paris 1997
  • Dobosiewicz Stanislaw, Mauthausen-Gusen w obronie zycia i ludzkiej godnosci, Dom Wydawniczy Bellona, Warszawa 2000
  • Klub Mauthausen-Gusen Waszawa, Mauthausen-GUSEN 1945-1995, wiersze zza drutow, Warszawa 1995
  • Ziemska Joanna, et al, Mauthausen-GUSEN 1945-2000, Gedichte – entstanden hinter dem Stacheldraht, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Literarisches Uebersetzen am Institut fuer Uebersetzen und Dolmetschen der Universitaet Wien, Warszawa, Mai 2000
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