Aleksander Wat

Aleksander Wat (actually Chwat ) ( born May 1, 1900 in Warsaw, † July 29, 1967 in Paris) was a Polish writer and co-founder of the Polish Futurism.


Wat came from a long-established Jewish- Polish family in Warsaw. One of his brothers later came to Treblinka, one of his sisters was the famous actress Seweryna Broniszówna. Wat studied 1918/1919 Philosophy at the University of Warsaw, including when Władysław Tatarkiewicz. The studies he soon abandoned in favor of his literary activity. He belonged in 1919 to those who helped organize the first Futurist appearance in Poland. From 1921 to 1922 he was editor of the journal Nowa Kultura, 1924 to 1925 Almanac of Nowej Sztuki and 1929-1931 of the Literary Monthly Literacki. Since the late 1920s, he began - under the influence of his friend Vladimir Mayakovsky - to sympathize with communism. When German troops invaded Poland in 1939, he fled to the Soviet-occupied Lvov, where he first took part in cultural life. In 1940 he was, however, denounced, arrested by the NKVD and deported in 1941 with the whole family to Kazakhstan. In 1946 he was able to return to Poland, where he remained, even though he had broken from communism. In 1948 he suffered a stroke, which he survived, but as a result he suffered until his death from severe nerve pain. After the thaw Wat returned to public life in 1957 and was awarded for his poetry the price of the weekly Nowa Kultura. In 1959 he went with his family to the West and lived in France, where in 1967 he also died since 1961.


Wats early work was influenced by the spirit of futurism and surrealism, as in 1919, resulting Poem Yes jednej strony z i z drugiej Yes strony mego mopsożelaznego piecyka ( I from one side and I on the other side of my mopseisenen Öfchens ). Unlike his former colleague Anatol Stern and Bruno Jasieński However, he continued to develop both content and form, is more closely related to his friend SI Witkiewicz. His only collection of short stories Bezrobotny Lucyfer ( The unemployed Lucifer ) from 1927 alluded to the deep spiritual crisis of Western civilization. His poems, however, show up to the posthumously published volume 1968 Ciemne Świecidło ( Dark Geleuchte ) to the internal struggle Wats between Judaism, atheism and Catholicism, the increasingly fascinated him in his life.

But his most important work undoubtedly represent his memories of the years 1926 to 1945 - particularly in the years in Soviet prisons - is that originated in the 60s in the form of captured on tape and given for printing later conversations that Czesław Miłosz with him led. This appeared under the title Mój Wiek memories recall in its detailed description of Soviet everyday life to the somewhat earlier incurred autobiographical account ( world without mercy ) by Gustav Herling - Grudziński.

Wat also worked as a translator English-, French-, German - and Russian-language literature. He was married to Paulina, called Ola, (1904-1991), also present their memories in German. The two had a son, Andrzej.


  • Yes jednej strony z i z drugiej Yes strony mego mopsożelaznego piecyka (1920 )
  • Gga. Pierwszy polski almanac poezji futurystycznej (together with Anatol Stern, 1920)
  • Bezrobotny Lucyfer (1927 )
  • Wiersze ( 1957) ( German: What does the night Selected Poems ISBN 3-926589-11-6 1991, Bad Honnef? .. )
  • Ciemne świecidło ( posthumously, 1968)
  • Kobiety z Monte Olivetto ( posthumously, 2000)
  • Mój wiek. Pamiętnik mówiony ( German: Beyond truth and falsehood. Century my Frankfurt / Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2000 ( = Polish Library Vol 50) ISBN 3-518-41189-6. )