Gustaw Przeczek

Gustaw Przeczek

Infobox Writer
name = Gustaw Przeczek

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birthdate = Birth date|1913|5|30
birthplace = Łazy, Austria-Hungary
deathdate = death date and age|1974|2|21|1913|5|30
deathplace = Hradec Králové, Czechoslovakia
occupation = Poet, writer, activist
ethnicity = Polish
citizenship = Czechoslovak
period =
genre =
subject =
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Gustaw Przeczek (30 May 1913 – 21 February 1974) was a Polish writer, poet, teacher and activist from the Zaolzie region of Cieszyn Silesia.

He was born in a large coal miner's family in the village of Łazy which lies in the coal basin. He graduated from schools in Orłowa and Łazy and in 1933 from a teachers' seminary in Ostrava. Przeczek later taught as a teacher in Polish schools in Bystrzyca and Łazy.

During World War II he was arrested during mass arrests of Polish intelligentsia and in 1940-1945 incarcerated in Dachau and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. In the latter camp Przeczek was forced to quarry granite in "Gusen" and "Kastenhofen" stone pits. [Sikora 1993, 23.]

After the war he administered a Polish school in Orłowa and in 1951-1970 was a director of the Polish elementary school in Trzyniec. Przeczek leaned towards communism and in 1954-1960 was a member of the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia from the Communist Party. He was there a member of the Cultural Committee. [cite web |url= |title= Národní shromáždění republiky Československé 1954 - 1960 - Výbory |accessdate= |author= |date= |work= |publisher= Společná česko-slovenská digitální parlamentní knihovna ] He was also active in several cultural and literary organizations, most notably the Polish Cultural and Educational Union and its Literary-Artistic Section. Przeczek edited and contributed to Polish magazines for children "Jutrzenka" and "Ogniwo", and wrote several textbooks for Polish schools in Czechoslovakia. He was also a member of Polish editorial staff of the "Profil" publishing house in Ostrava.

Przeczek wrote poetry, prose and also plays. His literary work is influenced by his incarceration in Nazi concentration camps. In Mauthausen-Gusen Przeczek met other poets, Poles Konstanty Ćwierk, Mieczysław Paszkiewicz, Grzegorz Timofiejew and Zdzisław Wróblewski; and Czech Raimund Habřina. They wrote poems on a paper from cement bags; these poems spread among inmates and were recited. [Sikora 1993, 24.] Przeczek's first works after his return focused on the life in the concentration camp. He published his camp poems in 1946 in the poetry collection "Serce na kolczastych drutach" (Heart on the Barbed Wire), his experiences from the camp were published in 1948 in the book "Kamienna Golgota" (Stony Golgotha).

Przeczek's motive of hard labour in the concentration camp can be observed from the fragment of "Z lagrowej ulicy" (From the Camp Street) poem from his poetry collection "Serce na kolczastych drutach" (Heart on the Barbed Wire):

: The stick strikes bent over back till it bleeds,: Heavy boot kicks in the belly - : You're a dog and mean as much as a number, : Your hands, tied up with a barb wire.

: You risk a horrific death daily, : Deadly gas knocks you off your feet, : You're a lost soul - in perpetual hunger : The smoke had swallowed the good God.|Gustaw Przeczek [Przeczek 1946, 61.] (translated by Richard Tylman)

Gustaw Przeczek died on 21 February 1974 in a hospital in Hradec Králové during a heart operation and is buried in Trzyniec.


* "Serce na kolczastych drutach" (1946) - poetry collection
* "Złota wolność" (1947) - play
* "Kamienna Golgota" (1948)
* "Ondraszek" (1948) - play
* "Powiew wolności" (1948) - play
* "Drogi i ścieżki" (1958) - poetry collection
* "Tędy szła śmierć" (1969) - novel
* "Odnajdywanie siebie" (1976) - short stories collection



* cite book
last = Przeczek
first = Gustaw
coauthors =
title = Serce na kolczastych drutach
publisher = nakład własny
date = 1946
location = Český Těšín
pages =
doi =
oclc = 85418788

* cite book
last = Radłowska-Obrusnik
first = Martyna
coauthors = and Otylia Toboła
title = Leksykon PZKO
publisher = Zarząd Główny PZKO
date = 1997
location = Czeski Cieszyn
pages =
url =
doi =
oclc = 189531468

* cite book
last = Sikora
first = Władysław
coauthors =
title = Pisarze Zaolzia
publisher = Wydawnictwo Olza przy Radzie Polaków
date = 1993
location = Czeski Cieszyn
pages =
doi =
oclc = 233485106

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