Godziny czekania Zbigniewa Mystkowskiego (1943) – epizod z dziejów książki i literatury oflagowej

Krzysztof Woźniakowski


[Hours of Waiting by Zbigniew Mystkowski (1943) - An Episode from the History of Oflag Books and Literature]

The subject of the article is one of the rather few examples of the unprofessional "publishing production" developed - under the coercive German control - in the circles of the Polish prisoners of war kept at the officers' camps in the Third Reich in 1939-1945. The collection Hours of Waiting was written at the Meklemburg Oflag II E Neubrandenburg by Lt. Zdzisław Mystkowski (of whom no definite information is presently available), and subsequently "published" in 50 copies, printed by means of xylographic technique, with wooden blocks carved by the camp artist Lt. Wacław Bulzacki in 1943. The bibliophilicly polished booklet (furnished with separately inserted xylographs by said Bulzacki) was composed of a series of 12 tetrastichs, creating in five theme sequences a moving comprehensive picture of the everyday dull prison camp existence, filled with homesickness and - not expressed directly due to the censorship reasons - yearning for freedom.
The collection, which was circulated within the Oflag, also got outside probably with the prisoners' correspondence, and found its way to Cracow (where perhaps Mystkowski came from?), and there it was reprinted - in fragments - in the underground poetry anthology Bloody and Green (1943). In the Oflag itself, it saw its second (1943) and third (1944) edition, and later - after evacuation of the prisoners - the fourth edition which was published already in Oflag II D Gross Born at the beginning of 1945. The last fifth edition of Hours of Waiting was published already after the war in 1946 in Bramsche in Lower Saxony. All of the editions were printed with the same wooden blocks. Zbigniew Mystkowski did not continue his literary attempts - he remained the author of one little book, a peculiar editorial cimelium of the times of world war II.
After the war, the booklet fell into complete oblivion; the historians - researchers of the POW camps in the Reich, revived its existence only in the seventies of the 20th c. It is the ambition of this article to supplement those findings with a bibliology and historic-literary commentary.

Słowa kluczowe

Polacy za granicą; Niemcy; 1939-1945 r.; historia

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Ann. Univ. Paedag. Crac. Stud. ad Bibliothec. Sci. Pertin. = ISSN 2081-1861 (print), ISSN 2300-3057 (online). Webmaster: Władysław Marek Kolasa.