Tadeusz Wittlin (1909 - 1998) writer, journalist

[Photograph from T. Wittlin Collection]

1. As a Public Relations Officer in Anders Army (1942)

[Photograph from T. Wittlin Collection]

2. An Unwilling Traveler in Russia

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Tadeusz Wittlin is probably one of the least known Polish writers who have had an outstanding career in the United States. Born in 1909 he attended the University of Warsaw earning separate masters degrees in law (1932) and the arts (1933). Soon he gave up the practice of law in favor of a position as an editor on the staff of Cyrulik Warszawski, (Warsaw Barber) a satirical magazine. By then he had already published a volume of poetry and a novel. When World War II began in 1939 he joined the Polish armed forces and soon found himself in Russian captivity. Freed under an agreement worked out by Gen. Sikorski when Germany turned on its former Soviet ally Tadeusz Wittlin travelled across Russia to join the Polish Army being formed at Buzuluk in the Southern Ural Mountain region. During his service with the army he was a Public Relations Officer and an editor of Parada a news magazine published for the Polish Armed Forces. After the war he briefly worked in Paris before emigrating to the United States where initially he was translator and writer for Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. In 1959 he became editor at the United States Information agency's Polish language publication Ameryka (America Illustrated) which enjoyed a large circulation in Poland. In 1961 he brought Genia Galewska, his pre-war fiancee, to the United States from Poland and they were married in Washington, DC.

Tadeusz Wittlin published 16 books that included: Time Stopped at 6:30 (about Katyn), Commissar: The Life and Death of Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria, and a set of sketches about his time in Russia entitled A Reluctant Traveller in Russia. His last book was Szabla i Kon (Saber and Horse) a biography of Gen. Boleslaw Wieniawa Dlugoszowski in which he included some of his own experiences from the inter-war period in Poland. He died in 1998, his wife Genia in 2012. During the time they lived in Washington they operated a virtual open house for Polish writers, artists and intellectuals. Among the photographs and papers that were left as a part of his archive was a fascinating study of the passing of the Beat Generation in the early 1960s. Its title at first was Tales from the White Horse Tavern and later Left Bank, New York. It awaits publication.

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