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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Medaliony Summary

Medaliony

Book Summary   by:Anula     Original Author: Zofia Nałkowska
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This abstract was translated from "Medaliony"
 
Zofia Nałkowska - a writer and member of a commission exploring into Germans' crimes - writes and publishes a work entitled "Medaliony" in 1945. In this way, she wants to commemorate the fate of those who lost their lives during the occupation. She touches upon two leading topics in her literary work: she describes the crimes committed on humanity and shows the impact of War on human psyche. Her "Wiza" is an example of a short story about inhuman treatment of women prisoners. Wiza was a meadow near a forest where hungry women, deprived of clothing and care, who often were dying of cold and physical exhaustion, were made to stand in a line. Special attention deserves the attitude of Greek women - tormented with a severe climate, dying and starving, yet muster the courage to sing their national anthem. They were not driven by any physical strength, as they say themselves, but the power of longing and yearning... The story of a young Jewish woman in the short story "Dwojra Zielona" shows the Man's struggle to survive. The heroine wanted to stay alive. She did not have a husband or a family; she was hungry and frozen but she wanted to live in order to tell the world about what fate the Man had prepared to another Man... This story features numerous descriptions of crimes and punishment, even for the most trivial offences. The human being is accompanied by fear of losing the loved ones all the time .
... fear of death. Yet another story tells about the second problem touched upon by Zofia Nałkowska, i.e. the influence of those terrible events on human psyche. "Przy torze kolejowym" is one of such examples. The war woke up fear, stimulated egoism and killed feelings. The author tells some stories of the transport of Polish people to the concentration camp in Auschwitz (Oswiecim). One of women prisoners runs away and badly hurt manages to get out of the train. She is Jewish. People going past her are scared to help her, even when she asks them for death. Then a young man appears who kills the exhausted woman. A question arises here: why? The war teaches hatred. Perhaps this young man wanted to be strong? Maybe he wanted to feel superior, feel the power .... or maybe just shorten her anguish? The conduct of a man pervaded with those days' reality should not be assessed. It is the war that takes away feelings, imposes indifference and first of all, is a deadly factory, where the Man is reduced down to the role of a toy in the hands of some incomprehensible power.
Published: February 08, 2006   
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