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Andrzej Szczypiorski
Born (1924-02-03)3 February 1924
Warsaw, Poland
Died 16 May 2000(2000-05-16) (aged 72)
Warsaw, Poland
Occupation novelist, politician, diplomat
Nationality Polish
Genre novel, short story
Notable works A Mass for Arras (pl.: Msza za miasto Arras)
Andrzej Szczypiorski grave
Andrzej Szczypiorski grave

Andrzej Szczypiorski ( ; 3 February 1928 – 16 May 2000) was a Polish novelist and politician. He served as a member of the Polish legislature, and was a Solidarity activist interned during the military crackdown of 1981. He was a secret police agent in the 1950s.

Life

He was son of Adam Szczypiorski, a political activist, historian and mathematician, and Jadwiga née Epsztajn. Szczypiorski had a sister Wiesława (1924-1945). He spent his childhood in Warsaw.

During World War II Szczypiorski studied at an underground university called the "flying university" due to the regular changing of its location for safety. He was a partisan of the Polish People’s Army, and a participant of the Warsaw Uprising. After the Uprising he was arrested and condemned to imprisonment at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he survived until 1945.

In 1946-1947 he studied political science in the Warsaw Consular Diplomatic Academy. In 1948-1956, Szczypiorski worked as an editor in the Katowice Silesian Theater. During this period, in 1952, he made his literary debut in the magazine "Życie Literackie" using the pseudonym 'Maurice S. Andrews' and was inducted into the Polish Writers' Union. He won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1988.

In 1956-1958, he was selected to serve in the Polish Embassy to Denmark, after which he returned to work as an editor on the radio and for publications. He later served as a member of the Polish legislature. He was also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Prior to his death, Szczypiorski converted to Calvinism, and is buried in the Protestant Reformed Cemetery in Warsaw.

After his death it became known that Szczypiorski was a collaborator of the Polish communist secret police in the years of Stalinism in Poland.

Awards

  • 1972 Polish PEN-Club Prize
  • 1988 Austrian State Prize for European Literature
  • 1989 Nelly Sachs Prize
  • 1994 Herder Prize
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