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Zofia Posmysz in Chicago
Zofia Posmysz, photo: Sławomir Kamiński / AG
Zofia Posmysz, photo: Sławomir Kamiński / AG

A meeting with Zofia Posmysz at the Chicago Cultural Centre on the 15th February 2015 has ended with a few minutes long, stand-up ovation. The author of the novel The Passenger was a special guest of the symposium preluding the premiere of Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera of the same title, which will take place on the 24th February at the Lyric Opera.

The meeting organised by the Lyric Opera, in the frames of the Memory and Reckoning cycle, was visited by guests such as Professor Katherine Syer of the University of Illinois, Anthony Freud, the director of the Lyric Opera, and the director of the opera, David Pountney. In an auditorium filled to its capacity, Zofia Posmysz spoke about the origin of her novel, on which Weinberg’s opera is based upon, about her meetings with the composer, but also about everyday life at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and about the horrid role which, by a decision of the camp’s authorities, was performed by the camp orchestra, composed solely of the camp’s prisoners.

The premiere of Mieczysław Weinberg's opera the Passenger was held on Thursday July 10th at the... Read more about: Operatic Holocaust Onstage Rouses New York


After the meeting, soloists of the Lyric Opera band performed Mieczysław Weinberg’s Piano Quintet op. 18.

The upcoming event of the Memory and Reckoning cycle will be a meeting with Professor David Scheffer, the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, during President Bill Clinton's second term in office. On the 23rd February Professor Scheffer will discuss The Passenger from the perspective of international criminal law.

author: Aleksander Laskowski, translation: Agata Dudek