Irit Amiel

- Poet, Writer Hebrew/Polish Writer and Translator

Irit Amiel, formerly Irena Librowicz, was born on 5th May 1931 in Częstochowa to a modern Jewish family, the daughter of Leon and Yentl (Hasenfeld) Librowicz. Her ancestors came to Poland around 400 years ago.

Duriing the War, she was in the Częstochowa ghetto. Her father managed to have her smuggled out of the ghetto and, with the help of Poles and false documents, she survived the War in hiding in a village and in Warsaw. Sadly, her parents and relatives perished in Treblina.

Together with a group of other young people, she managed to reach Palestine illegally in 1947 where, at first, she settled on a kibbutz. She then studied philology, history and literary history at the Open University of Ra’anana. Her post-graduate education was in Translation Studies at Beit Berl Kfar Saba College.

She made her literary debut in 1994 with a collection of Hebrew poems in a book relating to the Holocaust. A Polish language edition of that book was published in that same year. There then followed other literary works, all of which have also been published in Poland. These include poetry “I Could Not”(1998), “Test in the Holocaust” (1994, 1998), “Here and There” (1999), “Breathe Deeply” (2002), and prose including “Carbonized” (1999), “Dual View” (2008) and “Life – a Temporary Title” (2014). She has been twice nominated for the Nike Literary Prize.

Her works have also been published in English, German, Italian and Hungarian.

She has translated literary works from Polish to Hebrew and vice vera. Among the authors whose works she has translated are Marek Hłasko, Hanna Krall, Henryk Grynberg, Leo Lipski and Lucia Glicksman. into Hebrew.

In May 2014, as part of the Aleja … tu się dziejie festival, the City of Częstochowa invited Irit to take part in the event.

She used that opportunity to show her daughter where she had lived, where she had been in the ghetto, and from where she had escaped.

To mark the occasion, the Częstochowa City Council made a video of her visit..

The City of Częstochowa honoured Irit with an Honorary Award for Literary Achievement. Irit accepted the Award, in November 2014, at her home in Israel. It was presented to her by Alon Goldman, World Society Vice-President and Chairman of the Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel.

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The contents on this page
has been compiled from material supplied by
Alon Goldman, Chairman of the
Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel
and from material about Irit
which appears on Wikipedia.