World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Józef Szczepański

Article Id: WHEBN0015728956
Reproduction Date:

Title: Józef Szczepański  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Generation of Columbuses, Home Army, Zofia Romanowiczowa, Barbara Kostrzewska, Henryk Lederman
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Józef Szczepański

Józef Szczepański tombstone at Warsaw's Powązki Cemetery

Józef Szczepański (Polish pronunciation: ; 30 November 1922 in Łęczyca - 10 September 1944 in Warsaw) was a Polish poet who was a member of the Armia Krajowa Polish resistance. Commander of the Batalion Parasol during the Warsaw Uprising, known under his codename Ziutek, he was also a notable poet of the occupation period. Many of his poems were made into songs; the most notable one was "Pałacyk Michla".[a]


Szczepanski spent his childhood in several places, such as Łęczyca, Grudziądz, Jablonna and finally, some time in mid-1930s, he moved with the family to Warsaw. During the Polish September Campaign, he fled with parents to Volhynia, then moved to Rzeszów and Dębica. Finally, some time in the early 1940s, he returned to the capital of Poland. Back in Warsaw, Józef Szczepański continued his education in underground courses; interrupted by the German and Soviet attack on Poland. He also joined the Polish resistance (see: Szare Szeregi), becoming an officer candidate. He was a member of the squad that attempted to assassinate Nazi official, Wilhelm Koppe. Szczepanski was the soldier of the 1st Platoon of the 1st Company Agat of the Batalion Parasol, he publicly recited his first poem "Dzis ide walczyc - mamo" ("Today, I am going fighting, mother"), on December 31, 1943 in a house at 12 Swietojanska street in Warsaw. Soon afterwards, he became a bard of Parasol

During the Warsaw Uprising he was a squad leader in the Batalion Parasol (mostly composed of youths, many of them from Szare Szeregi underground scouting). He took command of the entire unit after its previous commander was killed. Wounded on the same day (1 September) in Warsaw Old Town, he was evacuated by his soldiers to Warszawa-Śródmieście but would die on 10 September.

Recipient of the Cross of Valour (twice), and the Virtuti Militari (5th class, posthumously).


Many of Szczepański's poems became popular in occupied Warsaw, particularly as he used them to chronicle the fights of the Batalion Parasol; some were made into songs. Many were however destroyed during the Uprising; less than 20 survive to this day. His poetry, particularly his poem Red plague, was also one of the things that inspired Polish Oscar-winning film director, Andrzej Wajda, to create the movie Kanał.[1] The poem, which described the failed hopes of Warsaw insurgents that Red Army would save them, was banned in the People's Republic of Poland due to its anti-Soviet context; during the Joseph Stalin era the very possession of it was punishable by imprisonment.[2] [b]

He is counted among the Generation of Columbuses - generation of Polish artists whose lives were dramatically impacted by the Second World War.


a ^ You can listen to "Pałacyk Michla" here

b ^ Fragments of Red Plague: "We are waiting for you, red plague... you will be salvation welcomed with revulsion... we are waiting for you, our eternal enemy... bloody murderer of so many of our brethren...."


  • (Polish) Józef Szczepański "Ziutek" - Biography and Photos
  1. ^ Kanal on official page of Andrzej Wajda
  2. ^ CZERWONA ZARAZA, Rzeczpospolita, 04.09.04 Nr 208

External links

  • (Polish) Biography, recollections
  • (Polish) Short biography
  • (Polish) Selection of poems; Another selection
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.