Joaquim Amat-Piniella (Manresa 1913 – Barcelona 1974) was a writer whose life and works were marked by his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. Amat-Piniella was a man of explicit political commitments, an intellectual who was interested in modern culture and a humanist in his quest for a better world. The defeats of the Spanish Civil War and the atrocities of the concentration camps sorely tested his convictions and left an indelible mark on him.
His best-known literary work is K. L. Reich, a novel in which he described life in the camp of Mauthausen. Again within the framework of concentration camp literature, he wrote the poems of Les llunyanies (Distances), some of them written in the Lager. His other novels belong to the genre of historic realism with a strong existentialist strand, reflecting the atmosphere of Spain after the Civil War.
Amat-Piniella has left behind him a shattering account of life in the Nazi concentration and death camps. His is the story of an entire generation, of what happened with the rupture of the Civil War and of what could no longer be.
Web page: Daniel Pitarch for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: Regional Historic Archive of Manresa and the Joaquim Amat-Piniella Website.