Anna Świrszczyńska’s “Building the Barricade” (excerpt)

Anna Świrszczyńska was born in 1909 in Warsaw, Poland, and spent part of her adulthood in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. During the Warsaw Uprising, Świrszczyńska served as a military nurse, witnessing some of the worst nightmares of the second World War. Her war poetry is brutal, lucid, full of simple descriptions of the events that occurred during the complete leveling of Warsaw in 1944.

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