Julian Stryjkowski’s typewriter

Maszyna do pisania
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

Prominent writer’s memorabilia donated to POLIN Museum.

Julian Stryjkowski (real name Pesach Stark) was one of most important Polish prose writers of the twentieth century. He survived World War II in the Soviet Union (Saved in the East is the extended interview he gave in the 1990s). He found about the Holocaust in 1943. As he confessed after many years, it was then that he felt Jewish again. “With what meagre force I had left, I had to erect a tombstone for the Jewish insurgents and the entire Jewish nation. I had to save from oblivion whatever could be salvaged. And so I returned to my childhood years, hidden beneath the silt of oblivion. And through a huge effort of memory I brought up this seemingly lost and forever sunk Atlantis,” he recalled of the time when starting to write Głosy w ciemności (Voices in the Dark). Subsequent books in his series of novels depicting Jewish life at the beginning of the twentieth century include Austeria, Sen Azrila (Azril’s Dream), and Echo.

The museum has received several items that belonged to Stryjkowski, including his Erika typewriter on which he used to type letters, a ceramic Italian desktop lamp, a beautiful wooden box for storing shaving utensils, and photographs. They were donated by his daughter-in-law Aneta Packa-Kopińska and granddaughter Hannah Stark Kopinski.  

8 August 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of the writer’s death.