The band that won’t forget: Gdańsk group mixes poetry with psychedelia - and messages about the Holocaust
A Gdańsk-based indie band has made waves in international waters with music taking on political populism and Holocaust denial.
Trupa, Trupa, a four-piece group from the coastal city, won international attention when their first album ‘Headache’ was released by a British label in 2015, and since then they have picked up rave reviews from esteemed publications such as Rolling Stone, The Chicago Tribune and The Times.
Many of their songs, all of which are in English, focus, according to the band’s Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, on the “dark side of human nature” as they tackle issues such as the Holocaust and historical revisionism.
On their 2017 album ‘Jolly New Songs’ the Holocaust is reflected in the first track, ‘Never Forget’, and urges people to “never forget those ghetto deaths”.
Their latest album Of the Sun has the single Remainder which repeats the line - “Well, it did not take place! It did not take place!” - as a taunt at Holocaust deniers.
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But despite the focus of humanity’s dark chapters, Kwaitkowski insists the band, as a whole, is not really into politics.
“We are not a political band,” he said in an interview for the Times of Israel.
“I am the person who focuses on and speaks openly about genocide, Holocaust denial and populism.
“My friends are less interested in being in the limelight and more reticent about the exposure.”
He added that his own family’s wartime history spurred his interest in the Holocaust and its legacies.
Kwiatkowski’s grandfather and great aunt were prisoners at the Stutthof concentration camp, a Nazi German facility built not far from Gdańsk that claimed the lives of some 63,000 people.
The time in the camp left his great aunt mentally ill.
“Understanding what happened to my family raised ethical questions for me. It was very formative.
“As a result, the phenomenon of evil is central to my life and to my poetry,” Kwiatkowski told the Times of Israel.