Krakow: Drukarnie Narodowa, 1945. Orignial publisher's wrappers w/dust jacket. Item #542
Book measures: 15.5 x 12.5 cm. SIGNED copy.
"Kwiaty Oswiecimia," signed by its author and illustrator Zinowij Tolkaczew, is a rare and historically significant book. This first edition of Tolkatchev's illustrated reportage on Auschwitz and its liberation is one of the earliest illustrated books about the Holocaust. It is a poignant collection, capturing the harrowing experiences of concentration camp survivors through Tolkatchev's artistic lens.
The book, numbered 011 from the author's privileged 700, is part of a limited run of 1,200 numbered copies, with the first 700 printed on superior-quality paper. Comprising ten pages of text in Polish , over 20 plates, the book spans 63 pages. It is presented in the publisher's illustrated wrappers, with the cover and text block in almost fine condition. However, the dust jacket shows signs of yellowing and damage due to aging.
Zinowij Tolkaczew (1903–1977), a Soviet-Jewish graphic artist and painter, volunteered in the Red Army and was present at the liberation of the Majdanek and Auschwitz concentration camps. His firsthand observations and interactions with the liberated prisoners deeply impacted him, compelling him to document these moments in his art. Tolkaczew’s works, including this booklet and others in portfolios, are a testament to his commitment to bearing witness to the horrors of the Holocaust and ensuring that these tragedies are not forgotten.
This book is not just a collection of illustrations; it is a powerful historical document that offers a visceral connection to one of the darkest chapters in human history. Through Tolkaczew's art, readers are given a glimpse into the atrocities of the Holocaust, making "Kwiaty Oswiecimia" a significant piece in the annals of Holocaust literature and art.