“Disinfection”. Polish literature and the extermination of mentally ill people Cover Image

„Dezynfekcja”. Literatura polska wobec eksterminacji osób psychicznie chorych
“Disinfection”. Polish literature and the extermination of mentally ill people

Author(s): Arkadiusz Morawiec
Subject(s): Psychology, Jewish studies, Polish Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza
Keywords: “Disinfection”; Polish literature; mentally ill people;

Summary/Abstract: The article concerns the theme of extermination of the mentally ill and handicapped in Polish literature. It outlines the basic facts regarding this crime perpetrated by the Nazis and indicates how Polish literature reacted to it. There are few works which deal with this crime. Writers (and historians) probably considered the extermination of the mentally ill to be a fact of insignificance compared to other Nazi crimes, or knew little about it. Thus Polish literature treats it incidentally, by entering it in another, more extensive or “more important” issue (the extermination of the Jews, the extermination of the Polish population), or treats it as an occasion to take up “more fundamental” (ideological) problems. The article analyzes famous works, Stanisław Lem’s novel Hospital of the Transfiguration and Andrzej Bursa’s poem The liquidation of the mentally ill in Kobierzyn by the Germans, and less known texts: Piotr Matywiecki’s poem *** [Dragged into the sun….] and Anna Dziewit-Meller’s novel Mount Taygetus.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 27
  • Page Range: 261-295
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Polish