grazyna chrostowska

Polish Literature: The Stones by Grażyna Chrostowska (1921 - 1942)

I used to like watching stones,
They are naked, simple like a truth.
Silent rough beings.
Without tears and love - without complaint…
Thrown on huge, wide earth…
Stripped yearnings, free from hope
Stand, belonging to nobody, yet with grief…
Of their hard eternity
Free from illusion -
Alone in nothingness.
And I sorrowed unwisely over something,
That I might cry among those mute rocks,
That winds chop them up,
Storms are passing by,
But they last -
And nobody rules over them,
Because they had lived
And became human hearts.

Grażyna Chrostowska was born on 21 October, 1921 in Lublin, Poland. She was a member of the underground KOP (Komenda Obrońców Polski) organization during the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland. She was arrested by Gestapo in Lublin on 8 May, 1941. Together with her sister she was sent to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp on 23 September, 1941. On 18 April, 1942, Grażyna Chrostowska (aged 21) and her sister were executed by firing squad in the camp.

I used to like watching stones,
They are naked, simple like a truth.
Silent rough beings.
Without tears and love - without complaint…
Thrown on huge, wide earth…
Stripped yearnings, free from hope
Stand, belonging to nobody, yet with grief…
Of their hard eternity
Free from illusion -
Alone in nothingness.
And I sorrowed unwisely over something,
That I might cry among those mute rocks,
That winds chop them up,
Storms are passing by,
But they last -
And nobody rules over them,
Because they had lived
And became human hearts.
—  Grazyna Chrostoswka, “The Stones” (translated from Polish by Jarek Gajewski)