Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski
Overview
Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, (ˈkʂɨʂtɔf ˈkamil baˈt͡ʂɨɲskʲi; nom de guerre: Jan Bugaj; January 22, 1921 – August 4, 1944) was a Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 poet and Home Army soldier, one of the most renowned authors of the Generation of Columbuses
Generation of Columbuses
The Generation of Columbuses is a term denoting the entire generation of Poles born soon after Poland regained her independence in 1918, and whose adolescence has been marked by the tragic times of the World War II. The term itself was coined by Roman Bratny in his well-received 1957 novel...

, the young generation of Polish poets of whom many perished in the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

.
Baczyński was born in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 in the family of renowned literary critic and soldier of Polish Legions in World War I
Polish Legions in World War I
Polish Legions was the name of Polish armed forces created in August 1914 in Galicia. Thanks to the efforts of KSSN and the Polish members of the Austrian parliament, the unit became an independent formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army...

, Stanisław Baczyński and school teacher Stefania Zieleńczyk.
Encyclopedia
Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, (ˈkʂɨʂtɔf ˈkamil baˈt͡ʂɨɲskʲi; nom de guerre: Jan Bugaj; January 22, 1921 – August 4, 1944) was a Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 poet and Home Army soldier, one of the most renowned authors of the Generation of Columbuses
Generation of Columbuses
The Generation of Columbuses is a term denoting the entire generation of Poles born soon after Poland regained her independence in 1918, and whose adolescence has been marked by the tragic times of the World War II. The term itself was coined by Roman Bratny in his well-received 1957 novel...

, the young generation of Polish poets of whom many perished in the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

.

Biography

Baczyński was born in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 in the family of renowned literary critic and soldier of Polish Legions in World War I
Polish Legions in World War I
Polish Legions was the name of Polish armed forces created in August 1914 in Galicia. Thanks to the efforts of KSSN and the Polish members of the Austrian parliament, the unit became an independent formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army...

, Stanisław Baczyński and school teacher Stefania Zieleńczyk. His mother was a zealous Catholic
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 but with Jewish roots, and as such was treated by the Germans as a Jew. His uncle, Dr. Adam Zieleńczyk, escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 15, 1940, in the territory of General Government of the German-occupied Poland, with over 400,000 Jews from the vicinity...

 and was killed by Germans in 1943.

Baczynski was baptized on September 7, 1922 in Warsaw. As a child, he suffered from asthma, his heart was very weak and he was in constant threat of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

. In 1933, he began education at Warsaw's Gymnasium of King Stefan Batory, he graduated in May 1939. In his class there were future heroes of Szare Szeregi
Szare Szeregi
"Gray Ranks" was a codename for the underground Polish Scouting Association during World War II.The wartime organisation was created on 27 September 1939, actively resisted and fought German occupation in Warsaw until 18 January 1945, and contributed to the resistance operations of the Polish...

 - Jan Bytnar
Jan Bytnar
Jan Roman Bytnar was a Polish Scoutmaster , Polish Scouting resistance activist and Second Lieutenant of the Armia Krajowa during the Second World War...

 (Rudy) and Tadeusz Zawadzki (Zośka). Baczynski debuted as a poet some time in 1938 in Strzała - a magazine published by Organization of Socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 Youth Spartakus, to which he belonged himself. After graduation, he was planning to continue education at Warsaw's Academy of Fine Arts, but the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 ended these plans.

During the German and Soviet (until 1941) occupation of Poland, he continued to cooperate with the left-wing underground press, most notably with the "Płomienie" (Flames) and "Droga" (Way) magazines. At the same time he was a student of Polish language
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 at the secret underground Warsaw University and the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

's "Agricola" NCOs
Non-commissioned officer
A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

 School. He took up several jobs, and in 1943 joined Batalion Zośka
Batalion Zoska
- Order of battle of the battalion :-Bibliography:*"Pamiętniki żołnierzy baonu Zośka", Nasza Księgarnia, Warsaw 1986 ISBN 83-10-08703-9....

, after which he gave up studies, committing himself to the Polish resistance activities. In his apartment, he hid several pieces of weaponry, including submachine gun
Submachine gun
A submachine gun is an automatic carbine, designed to fire pistol cartridges. It combines the automatic fire of a machine gun with the cartridge of a pistol. The submachine gun was invented during World War I , but the apex of its use was during World War II when millions of the weapon type were...

s and grenades.

On July 6, 1942, he married Barbara Drapczyńska
Barbara Drapczynska
Barbara Stanisława Drapczyńska was a wife of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, and a student of Polish Philology at the secret Warsaw University, during German occupation of Warsaw.Drapczyńska's father had a printing shop at Piękna Street in Warsaw. She met her future husband on December 1, 1941...

, a university colleague. The marriage resulted in a set of erotica written by Baczyński, reputedly one of the most notable in the Polish language. Shortly before the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 Baczyński gave a copy of all his poems to one of his friends, to hide in Żoliborz
Zoliborz
Żoliborz is one of the northern districts of the city of Warsaw. It is located directly to the north of the City Centre, on the left bank of the Vistula river. It has approximately 50,000 inhabitants and is one of the smallest boroughs of Warsaw....

. Because of that, they survived the war.

As a member of Scouting
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 Assault Groups (Harcerskie
Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego
Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego is the coeducational Polish Scouting organization recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It was founded in 1918 and currently is the largest Scouting organization in Poland...

 Grupy Szturmowe
), Baczyński took part in many sabotage actions throughout the occupation. One of them was derailment of a German military train in August 1944, which resulted in a 26-hour delay of traffic on the strategic connection Warsaw-Białystok.

After the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 broke out, he joined the "Parasol
Batalion Parasol
Battalion Parasol was a Scouting battalion of the Armia Krajowa, the primary Polish resistance movement in World War II. It consisted mainly of members of the Szare Szeregi, distinguishing itself in many underground operations, and in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 .-...

" battalion. He was killed in action
Killed in action
Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...

 by a German sniper
Sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

 at approximately 4 pm of August 4, 1944, in Blank Palace (Pałac Blanka) in the Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions....

 area. He is buried in the Powązki Military Cemetery
Powązki Military Cemetery
Powązki Military Cemetery is an old military cemetery located in the Wola district, western part of Warsaw, Poland. The cemetery is often confused with the older Powązki Cemetery, known colloquially as "Old Powązki"...

, together with his pregnant wife, who was killed on September 1, 1944. He was posthumously awarded the Armia Krajowa Cross
Armia Krajowa Cross
Armia Krajowa Cross is a Polish military decoration that was introduced by General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski on 1 August 1966 to commemorate the efforts of the soldiers of the Polish Secret State between 1939 and 1945...

 in 1947.

In his poems and short novels, Baczyński demonstrated both romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 traditions and catastrophism
Catastrophism
Catastrophism is the theory that the Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope. The dominant paradigm of modern geology is uniformitarianism , in which slow incremental changes, such as erosion, create the Earth's appearance...

. His poems depict the brutality of war, and suggest that love is the only force that can effectively defend a human being against it. His talent was highly appreciated by his contemporaries, Stanisław Pigon, upon hearing news of Baczynski joining the Szare Szeregi, said to Kazimierz Wyka
Kazimierz Wyka
Kazimierz Wyka was a Polish historian, literary critic and a professor of the Jagiellonian University.He was a deputy to Polish parliament from 1952 to 1956....

: We belong to a nation, whose fate is to shoot at the enemy with diamonds.

The 1984 film The Fourth Day (Dzień czwarty) tells the story of the last four days of his life.

Published works

  • White Magic and Other Poems trans. by Bill Johnston (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2005).

Further reading

  • Mortkowicz-Olczakowa, Hanna (1961). Bunt wspomnień. Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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