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Tadeusz Borowski was born in Soviet Ukraine of Polish parents in 1922. His parents spent most of his youth in Soviet prison camps. He survived Auschwitz and Dachau, but committed suicide in Warsaw in 1951. He started writing poetry during World War II, and published an underground collection called Gdziekolwiek ziemia (Wherever the Earth) in 1942. After the war, he published the memoir Byliśmy w Oświęcimiu (We Were in Auschwitz, 1946) with Krystyn Olszewski and Janusz Nel Siedlecki. He also wrote two collections of short stories, Pożegnanie z Marią (Farewell to Maria, 1948) and Kamienny świat (The World of Stone, 1948). Both collections appear in the English translation, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Other Stories (1967).
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