Bogdan (Dawid) Wojdowski (30.11.1930–21.04.1994)

writer, journalist, literary and theater critic

Wojdowski was born in Warsaw as the son of a carpenter and upholsterer. During World War II, he, along with his parents and his siblings, ended up in the Warsaw Ghetto. In the summer of 1942, he and his younger sister were led out of the ghetto to the ‘Aryan’ side. He was hiding under the changed name in districts of Warsaw and in the countryside near Wyszków.

In 1954, Wojdowski graduated with a degree in Polish philology at the University of Warsaw. He made his debut in 1951 in the weekly magazine “Wieś” with a review of Jan Koprowski’s book ‘Tale of my father’. Then he started working with ‘Życie Literackie’, ‘Przegląd Kulturalny’ and ‘Tygodnik Zachodni’. He found a permanent job in the editorial office of ‘Przegląd Kulturalny’ (1955-1956), and then in the editorial office of ‘Współczesność’ (1960-1964). Wojdowski’s book debut was a volume of short stories ‘Holidays by Job’ (1962), previously published in cultural periodicals. His literary work mainly concerns the events of the Second World War, including the extermination of Polish Jews. In the novel ‘Bread Thrown Dead’ (1971), next to the tragedy of Jews and the dramatic situation of an individual, it shows the psyche of the victims of Nazism: the feeling of humiliation and confusion, along with the will to fight for survival and save one’s own humanity and individual dignity.

Wojdowski died of suicide and was buried at the Jewish cemetery on Okopowa Street in Warsaw. His private archive was donated by his wife and sister to the National Library.

translated by Adam Grossman