Katarzyna Zuzanna Krakowiak
written by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński: A Captive's Letter, Altengrabow Camp, 19.03.1942 (from the volume “Poems 1905-1953”, published by Czytelnik, Warsaw, 1980); mixed media; 8cm x18,5cm x 28,5cm (closed), 8cm x 38,5cm x 28,5cm (open); one-off
The 21st century has less and less people who experienced the atrocities of the world wars. This book is the result of considering Correspondence carefully. It has the form of an old worn out suitcase. Inside it there are 11 envelopes, text and photos. The poem written by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński and titled “A Captive's Letter, Altengrabow Camp, 1942” has been printed on the altered paper. During the war the poet sent from the Altengrabow Camp 11 letters to his beloved. This one is the second and was sent on March 13th, 1942. Two photos: the old one, Mihailina and Anton, and the portrait of Anton in his house. The photos are the most important mean of expression. I took this picture during my journey across Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Czech Republic in 2011. Mihailina had died many years ago. Anton had been born in 1914. During the war he was forced to joined the Red Army and was fighting in Berlin. Now he is 97 years old, and lives in a Polish village Styrcza in Moldova. The only thing left are the memories and Anton's love. Does death of a beloved person make the correspondence of feelings and thoughts to end? No. The beloved ones will stay in our hearts for ever; death is not the end, but a part of our existence. The correspondence is eternal, as the title indicates it, while the verses written by Gałczyński are but a complement of it.