the experiences of childhood and growing up during the Second World War and the years of Nazi occupation had a lasting impression of the psyche of Jerzy Grotowski and had a significant, though far from simple, influence on his beliefs, hierarchy of values and way of thinking. At the most elementary level, the war had an obvious and direct influence on the life of the Grotowski family, leading to a permanent (as it turned out) separation of Jerzy’s parents and to a radical transformation of his life due to the fact of having to abandon their home in Rzeszów and move to the village of Nienadówka. At a more profound level, war became a time when a sensitive young boy encountered the cruelty of the world, violence and death (the memory of the pacification of Nienadówka on 21 April 1943 that haunted him for the rest of his life). The most lasting impact on both Grotowski and the entire war generation was caused by the scale of mass murders and planned genocide of millions of people, something which could not be explained in existing categories, particularly those based in a religious paradigm. It was indeed this experience which had a fundamental influence on his beliefs, leading him to diagnose in the 1950s already the impossibility of further attempts to explain the world and give sense to human existence in terms belonging to religious discourse. The theme of the war was evident in the performances of the Theatre of 13 Rows and the Laboratory Theatre, and took the form of – quite characteristic – references to the Holocaust, evident in Studium o Hamlecie (Hamlet Study) and, above all, Akropolis, which was founded on an attempt to explore the fundamental myths and values of the West in light of concentration camps and genocide. The factomontages created in Opole, Turyści (The Tourists) and Gliniane gołębie (Clay pigeons), presented as part of the Estrady Publicystyczne (Journalistic Platform), made reference to wartime experiences and events.