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Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz
(1894 - 1980) Poland

Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz

Writer

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Born into the Polish minority living in Ukraine, Iwaszkiewicz studied law and music in Kiev from 1912, settling in Warsaw in 1918, where he belonged to Skamander, a group of lyrical poets which included other homosexuals, such as Jan Lechon and Stanislaw Balinsky.

Jaroslaw IwaszkiewiczIn 1922 Iwaszkiewicz married Anna Lilpop, the daughter of a rich Warsaw industrialist, a marriage which resulted in two daughters. However, his marriage did not lead to a change in his life-style. Iwaszkiewicz joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany, he sheltered fugitives from the Nazi at the family home in Stawisko.

Beginning in 1949, he cooperated with the new Communist government and became a member of the Polish parliament. In 1970 he was awarded the International Lenin Prize. His autobiography recalls his fascination for the homoerotic. He translated into Polish the work of gay authors, such as Rimbaud and Gide. Iwaszkiewicz's life recalls the rich intellectual basis of Polish gay culture in the inter-war period as well as its continued existence in post-war Poland.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001
and: John D. Stanley, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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