Memoria [EN] No. 14 (11/2018) - Page 17

The preliminary research, if at all conducted, was not reliable, and the documentation preserved at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was not taken into consideration at all. The author did not conduct factographic verification based on publicly available academic literature. The author is not a researcher, and her lack of substantive and technical competence to work on personal sources, as well as the lack of general knowledge on the realities of the camp, is apparent in the book. The publication does not contain any footnotes, which makes it impossible to determine the source of most information. Reading the novel inclines one to suggest that the entire text is based solely on the memory of the witness. The accounts and memories of former prisoners may be an extremely valuable material source, comprehensively used in research and camp literature (both academic and non-academic). Nevertheless, the nature of human memory, especially where the events recalled occurred over seventy years ago, requires confrontation with other sources. From today’s perspective, we can only regret that no specialist in the area of camp matters was invited to work on the book because Ludovit Eisenberg’s memories are the only preserved accounts of the prisoner employed in the camp as a tattooist. If they had been collected and compiled in accordance with research techniques, they could have constituted a remarkable source of knowledge. Meanwhile, they have been published in literary form, only creating the illusion of a document. Given the number of factual errors, therefore, this book cannot be recommended as a valuable title for persons who want to explore and understand the history of KL Auschwitz.

Inside the main "sauna" building where prisoners were registered from December 1943