REVIEW: Tadeusz Sobolewicz's BUT I SURVIVED-and How to Take the Longer View on Horrors of War, Terror and Torture
By Kevin Stoda, Germany
In 1985, the Polish actor and lifelong volunteer teacher in Polish schools (and in other youth programs), Tadeusz Sobolewicz published his WWII memoir, BUT I SURVIVED. For this well-written tale, Sobolewicz won first prize for the Polish Auschwitz Recollections Collection. However, the book encompasses much more than just giving a witness's description of the horrors of death camps during one of the darkest periods and places in world history.
The non-fiction work also tells both of luck, fate, and selflessness and/or revenge of the survivors. Moreover, the book, BUT I SURVIVED, discusses how one begins to move on from such a past or experience of living as part of a hideous inhumane world order (under some of the worst war criminals one could ever imagine). We need to look into this topic as our world is awash with terror, torture, and wars of occupation. From all these perspectives, I feel the book from Tadeusz Sobolewicz ought to become the cannon of high school and young college history curricula-not just in Germany, but worldwide.
Despite its content, it inspires as much as it depresses while giving the reader a fairly authentic narration-perhaps more so than the biography of Anne Frank has ever done. The difference is that this narrator, Sobolewicz , was just old enough to experience the full moving into adulthood at the time world war broke out.