I Am Healthy and I Feel Fine is the collected letters of a prisoner in Auschwitz.  Marian Serejski, a university lecturer from Warsaw was imprisoned as a political prisoner in Auschwitz for 15 months in 1941 – 2.  He was one of only 2,000 prisoners who would be released by the Nazi authorities voluntarily.

Surprisingly, letters and parcels from the prisoners’ families were allowed to be delivered and prisoners were allowed to respond.  All letters were censored by the camp authorities, so it was difficult for prisoners and their families to say what was really going on.  Marian and his wife communicated in code – through the use of the character Henio.  Henio was a character who, to the outside world seemed to be a separate person but in fact referred to Marian’s middle name.

Marian, his family and his letters survived Nazi persecution.  His daughter, Krystyna has edited this book of his letters home.

Discussion Questions

Please note that some of these questions will act as spoilers for the book.

1.      why do you think Krystyna called this book I am healthy and I feel fine?

2.      why did all the letters to and from the camp have to be in German? What problems do you think this could cause?

3.      why do you think that Marian continued teaching after his release from Auschwitz?

4.      how do you think Marian’s wife was able to decipher his code?

5.      why do you think Krystyna tells her father’s Untold Story?

You can download the book activity.

If you are interested in reading more books which explore similar issues to I am healthy and I feel fine, we recommend Address Unknown by Kressman Taylor. http://www.hmd.org.uk/resources/for-adults/books-for-adults-address-unknown

You can use HMD resources to find out more about Auschwitz and life in the camps http://www.hmd.org.uk/genocides/the-holocaust/life-in-the-camps.