Inside a Gestapo Prison: The Letters of Krystyna Wituska, 1942-1944
On the eve of World War II, Krystyna Wituska, a carefree teenager attending finishing school in Switzerland, returned to Poland. During the occupation, when she was twenty years old, she drifted into the Polish Underground. By her own admission, she was attracted first by the adventure, but her youthful bravado soon turned into a mental and spiritual mastery over fear. Because Krystyna spoke fluent German, she was assigned to collect information on German troop movements at Warsaw's airport. In 1942, at age twenty-one, she was arrested by the Gestapo and transferred to prison in Berlin, where she was executed two years later. Eighty of the letters that Krystyna wrote in the last eighteen months of her life are translated and collected in this volume. The letters, together with an introduction providing historical background to Krystyna's arrest, constitute a little-known and authentic record of the treatment of ethnic Poles under German occupation, the experience of Polish prisoners in German custody, and a glimpse into the prisons of Berlin. Krystyna's letters also reflect her own courage, idealism, faith, and sense of humor. racism, nationalism, patriotism, human rights, and stereotypes. This is a new edition of the book originally titled I Am First a Human Being: The Letters of Krystyna Wituska (Vehicule Press, 1997).
What people are saying - Write a review
User Review - Flag as inappropriate
A brilliant book. Krystyna shows the testament of how unbreakable a human being's will to live truly is. Her refusal to be broken and to compromise on her optimism speaks to how truth, determination, and faith can never die.
Other editions - View all
1943 Beloved parents 1943 Dear Teddy afraid Alex Alexanderplatz Alina Alt-Moabit arrested aunts beautiful Berlin August Berlin October Berlin September best wishes brave Brwinow cell mate cheerful comfort concentration camp Daddy Dear Helga dear Mummy dearest Mummy everything executed Father feel friends Generalgouvernement Gerd German Gestapo girls Give my best Grimpe guard Halensee Halinka Halle/Saale Hans Frank happy heart Home Army hope incorporated territories Janek Kacprzyk Karol killed kisses Kryscha Krystyna laugh Lena letter Maria Marysia Mierkowski Mimi Mimi's missing Moabit Monika mother Nazis never night October 17 Olenka Olga once Pani Wanda parcels Pawiak pleased Plotzensee Poland Poles Polish prison sent sewing sister sometimes Sonnenschein Stutthof concentration camp sure tell terribly thank there's things thought underground University of Warsaw Ursel Walc Warsaw week window Wituska's wonderful worry write wrote Yesterday Zbyszek