Photo: Aleksander Laskowski.
In next week's issue of The New Yorker I will have a column about Mieczysław Weinberg's Holocaust opera The Passenger, which has recently been released on Blu-ray video and will open at English National Opera on September 19th. The opera is based on a radio play and novel by the Polish writer Zofia Posmysz, who survived Auschwitz. As it happens, today is Posmysz's eighty-eighth birthday, and we wish her many happy returns. This photograph was sent to me by Aleksander Laskowski, who translated my book The Rest Is Noise into Polish. It was taken in the workshop of the Teatr Wielki, in Warsaw. The medallion that Posmysz is holding up was made in Auschwitz, and was given to her by a Polish officer named Tadeusz Paulone, who was killed in 1943; he inspired one of the characters in The Passenger. On her left arm you can see her number — 7566.