Vanda Vasilevskaia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vasilevskaia, Vanda L’vovna


Born Jan. 21, 1905, in Kraków; died July 29, 1964, in Kiev. Polish and Soviet writer; public figure. Lived and worked in the USSR from 1939. Wrote in Polish. Member of the CPSU from 1941. Born into the family of a publicist and ethnographer, an activist of the Polish Socialist Party.

In 1927, Vasilevskaia graduated from the department of philology of the University of Kraków. She received the title of doctor of philosophy. She participated in the Polish revolutionary movement. In September 1939, when Hitler’s army was approaching Warsaw, Vasilevskaia came to Soviet L’vov and became a Soviet citizen. During the Great Patriotic War, Vasilevskaia was a propagandist in the Political Directorate of the Soviet Army. She headed the Union of Polish Patriots in the USSR. In the postwar period Vasilevskaia was an active fighter for peace.

She first appeared in print with poetry in 1921. Vasilevskaia’s novella The Face of Day (1934) portrays the growth of revolutionary consciousness of the Polish working class. In the novel Homeland (1935) and in the novella The Yoked Earth (1938), the struggle of the ravaged peasantry against the exploiters in bourgeois, aristocratic Poland is shown. Vasilevskaia’s trilogy Song Over the Waters —the novels Flame in the Swamps (1940), Stars in the Lake (1945), and The Rivers Are Burning (1951; State Prize of the USSR, 1952)—narrate the struggle of the Ukrainians in Poland during the Pilsudski government, socialist construction in the reunited lands of the Western Ukraine, and the friendship of the Polish and Soviet peoples. The novella The Rainbow (1942; State Prize of the USSR, 1943) portrays the courage and heroism of Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. In the novellas Simply Love (1944; State Prize of the USSR, 1946), and When the Light Goes On (1946) problems of socialist morality are raised. The story In the Deciding Battle (1958) celebrates the exploits of Polish Communists. A passionate publicistic element, sharp conflicts, and emotionality characterize Vasilevskaia’s work. She was deputy to the first through sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. She was a member of the World Council of Peace. She was awarded the Order of Lenin and other orders and medals.


Pisma zebrane. Warsaw, 1955.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-6. Moscow, 1954-55.


Usievich, E. Vanda Vasilevskaia. Moscow, 1953.
Vengerov, L. Vanda Vasilevskaia. Moscow, 1955.
Lisowski, Z. Twórczosć Wandy Wasilewskiej. Warsaw, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.