17 September 2010 “The Hare of Patagonia” in Krakow

On 29 October the autobiography of Claude Lanzmann entitled “The Hare of Patagonia” will be released. The book is being prepared by the Wydawnictwo Czarne publishing house; the text was translated from the French by Maryna Ochab.

Lanzmann is a tragic witness to and guardian of the memory of the terrible history of the twentieth century. He tells his life story in the book, in which the entire complex history of the twentieth century is enclosed. The author of the film “I, Karski” (a touching document on the subject of the activities of the famed Polish emissary during the Second World War) wrote in his memoirs of the creative process stretching over years that resulted in the controversial film “Shoah” – an oral history of the Holocaust, in which Lanzmann presented the testimonies of Jews, Poles, and Germans, passing over documentary historical sources. Lanzmann, who both won awards and was accused of manipulating history, draws in his autobiography a picture of the post-war intellectual life of France, describes his acquaintance with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, the moon landing, the experience of reading a sign with the name Treblinka for the first time, and the sight of the hare in the title of the book, who squeezed under the wire of the camp… Lanzmann’s book is not one to be ignored. Its publication was one of the most important literary and intellectual events of recent years in France, and now the Polish public will have the opportunity to read it.

We encourage you to read it and invite you to meet with the director on 7 November at 6:00 p.m. at the National Museum in Krakow. Adam Michnik will take part in the discussion – witness to and guardian of the history of modern Poland. The evening will be hosted by the author of the collection of essays, “Philosophers in the Circle of Politics”, Krzysztof Pomian. (MD)

pic. C. HÈlie Gallimard