Newswire » Local History » Liberties Poet Warms Heart of Holocaust Survivor

Liberties Poet Warms Heart of Holocaust Survivor

Dr Tadeusz Smreczynski … 'Life could only regain sense if you try to do good.'

Liberties Poet Warms Heart of Holocaust Witness & Survivor

It’s been seventy years since the survivors’ of Auschwitz were liberated. Recently, local author and poet Dermott Hayes was watching a TV documentary where six survivors recounted their stories of survival and the terrible aftermath they’ve endured full of nightmares as they tried to come to terms with that tragedy.

In the documentary, one Polish man, Dr Tadeusz Smreczynski, who was interned himself in Auschwitz spoke about his terrible experiences and memories.  One particularly horrible memory, the tune from Puccini’s opera “Tosca”, itself a tale told against a backdrop of tyranny and oppression lives on in the doctor’s mind. He heard an inmate singing the aria. He said it was strange to hear such a thing in the surroundings of the camp. An S.S. guard heard it and ran to find its source. Our survivor asked someone, what happened?   The singer was killed.

Tadeusz Smreczynsk became a doctor after the war but, because of further persecution at the hands of the communists in post war Poland, could only set up as a GP, within ten minutes drive of the Auschwitz camp. Imagine the horror of that, for the rest of his life. His story moved Dermott to write this poem, “Tosca’s Tale”.
Dermott sent the poem to his Polish friend, Anna Zak, who, along with her fellow students, translated the poem into Polish. She then forwarded it to Dr Smerzynski’s family and they responded with the below email.

(This is the email from Dr Smerczynski’s daughter in law)                                                                                          

 As we agreed I gave my father (Tadeusz Smerczyński) all the letters we exchanged and the translated poem. Below I am sending a few words of comments from my father to Dermott Hayes:

Dear Dermott,
It was a striking experience to hear this wonderful song in the scenery of the concentration camp. The tenor’s emotions, who lost all his family in gas chambers and simultaneously was left alive to serve SS men- SCHUTZSTAFFEL.

The man was aware that it was his last song he would sing in his life and he wanted to express his tragedy. The strength / power of these feelings has left a deeper mark in my memory than any other experience for the last 70 years in my life.
The poem “Tosca’s Tale” remarkably accurately expresses those emotions,

Best regards
Tadeusz Smerczynski

Below is Dermott’s piece.

Tosca’s tale
of love and loss
sung aloud, forlornly
in Auschwitz,
the charnel house
of tyranny,
rang true and clear
without breath of fear,
set free by willing
and defiant spirit,
to relate the story
of love’s contentious struggle
against bitter hate
and treachery
and though
suddenly snuffed
and silenced,
its defiant message
rings true today
as in the words
of Edmund Burke,
sing now
and defy
all tyrants

One Response

  1. Eamon Ó Ceallaigh says:

    Well-crafted; succinct yet potent.


Leave a Reply

© 1991-2014 Fountain Resource Group Ltd. · Registered Company Number: 193051C · RSS · Website designed by Solid Website Design