The latest in a series of Museum publications on prisoner-artists and their works from Auschwitz Concentration Camp during the Second World War profiles the outstanding and prolific Mieczysław Kościelniak, who leaves a legacy of drawings, paintings, and prints. From a prisoner's perspective, he created a wealth of artistic documentation of the genocide and terror in the camp.
Both his paintings and quick sketches are technically assured and deeply moving in their expressive realism. The enormous emotional charge and the subject matter of Kościelniak's work, both in the camp and afterwards, offer vivid images of many sites and dramatic incidents in the history of the camp. His work has great documentary value. It recalls the barbarity of war and warns against the dangers of a world overwhelmed by fanaticism.
Intended for both commemorative and educational purposes, the book serves as a pictorial resource and a supplement to the fragmentary extant camp records, accounts and memoirs by former prisoners, and postwar studies of the camp.
This slender album contains only Kościelniak's most significant camp and postwar work, most of which comes from the collections of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Family photographs made available by Kościelniak's relatives complement the illustrations and the biography of the artist