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A hostile reception in Paris


My brother Walenty, the 'father of endocrinology'
Julia Hartwig Poet
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Mój brat Walenty studiował wtedy w okresie – kiedy zdarzyła się ta tragedia w naszym domu – studiował w Warszawie, był uważany za niezwykle zdolnego ucznia i rzeczywiście to się... to się rzeczywiście sprawdziło, ponieważ został nazwany ojcem endokrynologii. A do tego ponieważ endokrynologia w Polsce właściwie nie istniała, a to był taki przypadek szczególny, mianowicie on sam zachorował na trzustkę – no to trzustka właśnie podlega endokrynologii. I leczono go bardzo... bardzo nieudolnie i w końcu zdecydowaliśmy w rodzinie, że koniecznie on musi wyjechać gdzieś za granicę, gdzie takie rzeczy leczą. Ja wtedy byłam... miałam go pod swoją opieką, odtransportowałam go do Paryża, on był na... na noszach.

When that tragedy happened in our home, my brother Walenty was studying in Warsaw and was considered to be an exceptionally good student which was born out by the fact that he was later called 'the father of endocrinology'. In addition, endocrinology in Poland didn't really exist so this was accidental in that he developed problems with his pancreas and that comes under endocrinology. The treatment he received was very inept so in the end, as a family, we decided that he absolutely must go abroad somewhere where these matters get treated. At the time, I was... I had him under my care, I took him to Paris, he was on... on a stretcher.

Born to a Polish father and a Russian mother, Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and author of children's books. She studied at the University of Warsaw, the Catholic University in Lublin and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czesław Miłosz called her 'the grande dame of Polish poetry'. Julia Hartwig was one of the few poets in Poland who made masterly use of poetic prose. She translated poems by Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, and published monographs on Apollinaire and Gerard de Nerval. She also translated from English, and published a large anthology of American poetry which she co-edited in 1992 with her late husband, the poet Artur Międzyrzecki.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Poland, Warsaw, Paris, Walenty Hartwig

Duration: 54 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 10 May 2011