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Creator / Melchior Wańkowicz

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Melchior Wańkowicz (1892-1974) - a reporter, traveller, war correspondent, fighter for independence and all around cool guy. Seriously, if there wasn't ample evidence that he lived you'd be well justified in thinking he was a novel character.

Born and raised in the Russian-occupied part of Poland, he started both conspiring and writing in Boarding School (under Nom De Plume Jerzy Łużyc). Studied law in Kraków, where he met his future wife. Went on to fight for Poland.

Also fought in Polish-Soviet War.

This done, he settled in Warsaw as a journalist, writer, publisher and (as of 1919) father, leaving every once in a while to write about far-away places. Or not so far away - Na tropach Smętka translation  described lands just behind the border but unavailable due to Prussian bureaucracy.

When World War II came, he got drafted, but missed his division and finally landed in Romania, where he made interviews with all the interesting people, before he was evacuated by the British Army. Afterwards he joined general Anders as the war correspondent.


After the war he lived in London, then in the USA, finally returning to Poland, or at least to the Polish lands, in 1958. Being staunchingly anti-establishment (anti-censorship, specifically) he stood before a Kangaroo Court, but the communists chickened out and left him alone in the end, since he became a bit of an Icon of Rebellion.

Having traveled half the world, endured three major wars and one-upped the government, Melchior Wańkowicz died of cancer in 1974.


His best known works are:

  • Szczenięce lata - autobiographical (his own childhood)
  • Na tropach Smętka - autobiographical (a trip with his daughter to Mazury)
  • Bitwa o Monte Cassino - three volumes on battle of Monte Cassino
  • Wrzesień żagwiący - on the September 1939, published in English as Scorching September
  • Klub trzeciego miejsca
  • Ziele na kraterze - autobiographical (his daughters' childhood and family life in The Roaring '20s, as well as their war-time experiences)
  • Droga do Urzędowa
  • Atlantyk – Pacyfik - autobiographical (a road trip from New York to California, along with the wife)
  • Karafka La Fontaine’a, two volumes, the second published posthumously

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