The worst thing that can happen is the suffering of saying goodbye when you are forced to say goodbye to the people closest to you, said former Auschwitz prisoner and historian Marian Turski during the discussion on Samuel Pisar’s book “From Blood and Hope”, which took place at the Sybir Memorial Museum in Białystok in connection with the 80th anniversary of the Białystok ghetto uprising.
In connection with the 80th anniversary of the uprising in the Białystok ghetto, a discussion was held at the Sybir Memorial Museum in Białystok on the book “From Blood and Hope” by Samuel Pisar – a Polish-American writer, survivor of the destruction of the local ghetto and concentration camps, who died in 2015.
The discussion was attended by, among others: Samuel Pisar’s daughter Leah Pisar-Haas, ambassador USA in Poland Mark Brzezinskiformer Auschwitz prisoner and historian Marian Turski or former Polish ambassador to the USA Ryszard Schnepf.
The moderator of the discussion was Piotr Marciniak, journalist of TVN24 and “Fakty” TVN.
Leah Pisar-Haas: It was a bit more than a miracle
Samuel Pisar’s daughter, Leah Pisar-Haas, said that “this book tells the story of his life from the moment of his birth and a very happy childhood in Bialystok to the transition to terrible memories from which it was a miracle to survive”. “It was little more than a miracle,” she said.
– He had a story to tell. It wasn’t just a story of survival, it was also about avenging.” “It wasn’t just about physical survival, it was about human survival, psychological survival, emotional survival,” she added.
Marian Turski: the worst that can happen is the suffering of goodbyes
Marian Turski also spoke. Have you ever thought about what suffering is? Is it suffering when they beat me? Yes. Is it suffering when tens of thousands of lice were flying around me? Yes. Is it suffering when I was freezing, literally, in these rags, and it was minus 20? Yes. Is it suffering when I was starving? Yes. Is it suffering when they treated me like a cockroach to be trampled on? How is a louse that can be squashed? Yes, Turski said. – But even so, they themselves were anti-human to me. So it wasn’t as severe for me,” he continued.
As Turski continued, “the greatest suffering is the one you can see in the study of Pisar.” – The worst thing that can happen is the suffering of goodbyes when you are forced to say goodbye to the people closest to you. Mother, father, brother, friends. You don’t know what will happen to them and you have a feeling that this is the last time you will see them.
– From this point of view, “From Blood and Hope” is an outstanding study of farewells, and thus mental suffering – said Turski.
Mark Brzezinski: There is a strong pedagogical element in From Blood and Hope
US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski emphasized that his father Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel Pisar had “common narratives”. “They were both thrown onto the American shores by World War II. . . . They were both such natural teachers. When I read From Blood and Hope, when I watch interviews with Samuel Pisar, I see that there is a strong pedagogical element. They both felt teaching, they felt the pedagogical spirit, educating people in this way – he emphasized. “Both had open minds for public service, were citizens who saw America as an opportunity to create a better world,” he added.
Schnepf: I thought it was another story of someone’s life, but I was wrong
Former Polish Ambassador to the US Ryszard Schnepf talked about his impressions of reading the book. – I thought it was another story of someone’s life, most likely a good source of information about the Holocaust, about the Nazis, about their crimes. One of many. But I was wrong, he said.
– For me, this book was soaked in blood, it was full of the Nazi occupation, people disappearing from our surroundings and then rebuilding their lives, looking for paths or roads through life, starting with German – added.
Main photo source: Bialystok