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Julian Tuwim's suitcase

Golden 8

The manuscript of the book lay for six years in a suitcase stuffed with papers, buried in the basement of one of the houses in Warsaw. In the last days of August 1939, having heeded the good advice of my own Guardian Angel, I collected manuscripts of poems and translations scattered across the drawers and shelves, large amounts of materials for the intended works, a huge archive, collected over 25 years, as well as more valuable personal memorabilia – including hundreds of letters to the above-mentioned Angel and two albums into which Miss Adela Krukowska and Miss Ewelina Łapowska, my mother and my grandmother, copied various poems – I piled it all into a fibre suitcase, and slammed it shut by kneeling on it and decided solemnly that ״if necessary" I'll bring this treasure with me. But when on September 5 in the early morning we were forced to flee Warsaw from the approaching cohorts of Teutonic fascists, I had to leave the suitcase behind. There was no room for it in the car, already overcrowded with people. This coffin, containing many years of writing and the most tender memorabilia of the past, was buried in the ground. There wasn't a day in exile when I wouldn't think of it.

(Julian Tuwim, Preface in Pegaz dęba [The Prancing Pegasus] 1950)

Above the Moscow desk of Mieczysław Weinberg, there was only one portrait – of the poet Julian Tuwim. What was their connection, considering that they never met?



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