Tadeusz Konwicki

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Tadeusz Konwicki

Tadeusz Konwicki Kancelaria Senatu 01.jpg

Tadeusz Konwicki in 2008
Born 22 June 1926
Nowa Wilejka, Poland [1] (now Naujoji Vilnia, Lithuania)
Died 7 January 2015(2015-01-07) (aged 88)
Warsaw, Poland
Occupation Writer
Language Polish

Tadeusz Konwicki (22 June 1926 – 7 January 2015) [2] was a Polish writer and film director, as well as a member of the Polish Language Council.

Polish Language Council official language regulating organ of the Polish language

The Polish Language Council is the official language regulating organ of the Polish language. It was established by the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences pursuant to Resolution No. 17/96 of 9 September 1996.



Konwicki was born in 1926 as the only son of Jadwiga Kieżun and Michał Konwicki in Nowa Wilejka, where he spent his early childhood. His father died early and Konwicki lived with his great-aunt and great-uncle who he later depicted in his novels. He attended a local King Zygmunt August gymnasium. Immediately following the outbreak of World War II, Wilno was occupied by the Soviet Union and subsequently by Nazi Germany, and all education for Poles was discontinued.

Childhood age from birth to adolescence

Childhood is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence. According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, childhood consists of two stages: preoperational stage and concrete operational stage. In developmental psychology, childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. Various childhood factors could affect a person's attitude formation.

Gymnasium (school) type of school providing advanced secondary education in Europe

A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Konwicki continued his studies underground and joined the eighth Oszmiana Brigade of the Home Army that took part in the nationwide guerrilla operation code-named Operation Tempest and Operation Ostra Brama. He later disarmed and went into hiding from the Soviet Army. In November 1944, he joined Tur's (Witold Turonek) unit and fought until April 28, 1945 - one of the last guerrilla units in the area. [3] After the war Wilno (retrieving its name as Vilnius in the process) was annexed by the Soviet Union and Konwicki was expatriated.

Home Army Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland

The Home Army was the dominant Polish resistance movement in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, during World War II. The Home Army was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej. Some authors stress the continuity using acronym ZWZ/AK. Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces. Its allegiance was to the Polish Government-in-Exile, and it constituted the armed wing of what became known as the "Polish Underground State".

Operation Tempest series of anti-Nazi uprisings conducted during World War II

Operation Tempest was a series of anti-Nazi uprisings conducted during World War II by the Polish Home Army, the dominant force in the Polish resistance.

Operation Ostra Brama battle

Operation Ostra Brama was an armed conflict during World War II between the Polish Home Army and the Nazi German occupiers of Vilnius. It began on 7 July 1944, as part of a Polish national uprising, Operation Tempest, and lasted until 14 July 1944. Though the Germans were defeated, the following day the Soviet Red Army entered the city and the Soviet NKVD proceeded to intern Polish soldiers and to arrest their officers. Several days later, the remains of the Polish Home Army retreated into the forests, and the Soviets were in control of the city.

In the spring of 1945 Konwicki moved to Kraków, where he enrolled at Jagiellonian University. He also started to work as a journalist at Odrodzenie weekly, moving to Warsaw in 1947 to continue his work for the magazine. In the capital, he was one of the leading advocates for Socialist Realism in literature. In 1948 he finished his memoirs of his partisan years (Rojsty), but the book was not published until 1956. His literary debut was the Produkcyjniak  (pl ) (production novel) Construction Site (1950, Przy budowie), which was followed by the novel Power (1954, Władza). His 1956 novel From a Besieged City (1956, Z oblężonego miasta) also became quite popular.

Kraków Place in Lesser Poland, Poland

Kraków, also spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jagiellonian University Polish higher education institution

The Jagiellonian University is a research university in Kraków, Poland.

Warsaw City metropolis in Masovia, Poland

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the years 1952–1966 he was a member of Polish United Workers' Party. By the mid-1950s, Konwicki had become disillusioned by the communist regime in Poland and fell out of grace with the party. His later works (beginning with A Hole in the Sky (1959, Dziura w niebie), are mostly concerned with the author's childhood and the semi-mythical, romantic land of his youth.

Polish United Workers Party political party

The Polish United Workers' Party was the Communist party which governed the Polish People's Republic from 1948 to 1989. Ideologically it was based on the theories of Marxism-Leninism. It also controlled the armed forces, the Polish People's Army.

Poland republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

At this time Konwicki became the head of the Kadr Film Studio and has since been recognized as one of the most notable members of the Polish Film School. However, his work veered away from the style pursued by his contemporaries, due to its uniquely bitter quality. As a filmmaker he is known for his Venice'58 Grand Prix winner The Last Day of Summer (Ostatni dzień lata, 1958), All Souls' Day (Zaduszki, 1961), as well as for his masterpieces Salto (1962) and How Far Away, How Near (Jak daleko stąd, jak blisko, 1973), as well as film adaptations: of Nobel Prize Winner Czesław Miłosz's book Issa Valley (Dolina Issy, 1982), and of Adam Mickiewicz's drama Forefather's Eve Lava (1989).

KADR is a major Polish film production and distribution company, founded in 1955 and still producing films as of 2016. Between its founding and 2003, KADR released 150 films in total, including many classics of Polish cinema.

Polish Film School refers to an informal group of Polish film directors and screenplay writers active between 1956 and approximately 1963.

The Last Day of Summer is a 1958 romantic drama film directed by the Polish film director Tadeusz Konwicki.

He is widely known for two novels, published by the Polish underground press: The Polish Complex (1977) and A Minor Apocalypse (1979). [4] The latter work, a bitter satire about a washed-up writer who is asked to burn himself in front of the Soviet-built Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw; the novel was adapted as a 1993 French feature film, directed by Costa-Gavras. A Minor Apocalypse is a post-Orwellian parody that refers to specific historical events, such as self-immolation protests against the communist regime by Ryszard Siwiec in Poland and Jan Palach in Czechoslovakia.

Literary works




See also

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  1. Tim Woods. Who's who of Twentieth Century Novelists. Routledge. 2001. p. 200.
  2. Tadeusz Konwicki obituary
  3. Katarzyna Zechenter, The Fiction of Tadeusz Konwicki. Edwin Mellen Press 2007, pp. 30-31. ISBN   0-7734-5466-7
  4. Szporer, Michael (1986). "Beyond Aesthetics of Censorship: Tadeusz Konwicki's Ordinary Politicking". Modern Fiction Studies. 32 1.