The discreet horror of the Holocaust in Ida Fink’s stories

Poland, ID CLEaR2015-274;

The topic of the article is writings by Ida Fink. Janusz Waligóra analyses the stories of the author of Wiosna 1941 (The Spring 1941) which refer to the Holocaust. The analysis also draws one’s attention to the poetics of “discreet horror” in which Ida Fink’s stories are embedded. In her records the author does not underline the cruelty, but shows the terror of the situation by subtle narrative and compositional manoeuvres. The picture of death is de-emphasised by the psychology of characters, and the main subject of focus are complicated human relationships, where the author with a great delicacy presents various emotional states of people who, despite being sentenced to death, still try to survive the war. Ida Fink’s stories are different from the majority of Holocaust literature which exposes the severity and brutality of mass death. These stories stand out as an exceptional phenomenon among works by such authors as Tadeusz Borowski, Zofia Nałkowska, Leon Buczkowski, Henryk Grynberg or Bogdan Wojdowski.

Key words: Holocaust, literature, Fink