Seweryna Szmaglewska

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Seweryna Szmaglewska as seen on the cover of her 1967 novel "Szum wiatru"

Seweryna Szmaglewska (1916–1992) was a Polish writer, known for both books for children and adults alike. Her novels "Czarne Stopy" (Black Feet) and "Dymy nad Birkenau" (Smoke over Birkenau) are compulsory reading in Polish schools.

She was born 11 February 1916 in Przygłów near Piotrków Trybunalski, then in Central Powers' occupied part of the Kingdom of Poland. She graduated from the Free Polish University and went on to study at the Polish language and literature faculties of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow and the Łódź University. Between 1942 and 1945 she was an inmate of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. As a Holocaust survivor, she was one of very few Poles to testify at the Nuremberg Trials.

After the war she went on to be a successful writer. Initially focusing on her war-time experiences ("Dymy nad Birkenau", "Łączy nas gniew", "Niewinni w Norymberdze"), with time she also started publishing novels for teenagers. Her best-known novel "Czarne Stopy" (published in 1960) was later turned into a successful 1986 film by Waldemar Podgórski. She died 7 July 1992 in Warsaw.