Boris Pahor

Boris Pahor is an Italian writer of Slovene origin. He witnessed the Fascist Italianization of his country and always argued against totalitarianism. He left the Italian army during WWII in order to fight with the resistance group the Slovene Partisans. His struggle and subsequent capture and incarceration in a Nazi concentration camp would become the background for his novels and memoirs.

"It's a Sunday afternoon, and the smooth and sinuous asphalt strip that leads ever higher into the mountains is not as desolate as I would have wished it to be. Cars pass me or return down into the valley, toward Schirmeck, and the volume of tourist traffic disrupts, defiles, even, the calm I had anticipated. Admittedly, my car and I are now a part of the motorized procession. I had hoped that if there was no other traffic but me, my former intimacy with this place would keep my intrusion from distorting the dreamlike images that have lived untouched in the shadows of my mind ever since the war. I realize that some vague resistance is forming in me — resistance to the fact that this mountainous region, such an integral part of our inner world, should be laid bare, made accessible. My resistance is tinged with jealousy, because these outsiders are coming to sightsee in the place that witnessed our anonymous captivity. But — and I sense this unmistakably — their eyes will never see the abyss of desolation that was our punishment for believing in man’s dignity and freedom. At the same time I feel an unbidden and gently persistent satisfaction that this mountain in the Vosges is no longer the site of a distant, self-consuming fury of destruction; that it has become, instead, the destination of endless crowds which, naïve and guileless though they may be, are sincere in their wish to experience just a hint of the inconceivable fate of their lost brothers."

– Boris Pahor, Necropolis