Leon Kruczkowski

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kruczkowski, Leon


Born June 28, 1900, in Krakøw; died Aug. 1, 1962, in Warsaw. Polish writer and public figure. Became a member of the Polish Workers’ Party in 1945 (since 1948 the Polish United Workers’ Party). The son of a bookbinder.

Kruczkowski graduated from the department of chemistry of the Higher Industrial School in Krakow in 1918. He was mobilized into the army as a supply officer in August 1939 and between 1940 and 1945 was in a German prisoner-of-war camp.

Kruczkowski began to publish in 1918. His first collection of verses, Hammers Over the World (1928), though containing somewhat abstract images, rang with anti-imperialist protest and proclaimed belief in the revolutionary transformation of the world. His realistic novels included Kordian and the Boor (1932; Russian translation, 1950) and Peacock Feathers (1935), which denounced bourgeois nationalist ideology and its slogan “unity of the people,” and A Trap (1937), in which Kruczkowski showed his ability for penetrating psychological studies of man and his society. These works were landmarks in the development of Polish literature. During the 1930’s his writings contributed considerably to the struggle against the fascists.

After 1945, Kruczkowski turned mainly to writing plays, which brought him world recognition. The plays Retribution (1948), The Germans (1949), The First Day of Freedom (I960), and Death of the Governor (1961) were distinguished by their intense dramatic action, sharpness of conflict, convincing character portrayals, and the clarity of the author’s position. His dramas formed the basis of the socialist theater in the People’s Republic of Poland.

A leading representative of socialist realism in Poland, Kruczkowski was chairman of the Union of Polish Writers between 1949 and 1956. He was a member of the World Peace Council (1950) and was awarded the State Prize of the People’s Republic of Poland (1950 and 1955) and the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations (1953).


Dramaty. Warsaw, 1962. In Russian translation, Izbrannoe. Afterword to the translated version by A. G. Piotrovskaia. Moscow, 1955.


Severina, N. la. “Leon Kruchkovskii.” In Istoriiapol’skoiliteratury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1969.
L. Kruchkovskii: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, Moscow, 1954.
Macuianka, Z. O Leonie Kruczkowskim: 1900–1962. Warsaw, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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