Brandys, Kazimierz

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BRANDYS, KAZIMIERZ (1916–2000), Polish author. Born in Lodz, Brandys studied at Warsaw University and managed to survive the Nazi occupation. After the war he became a leading figure in Polish intellectual life. He helped to found the Lodz weekly Kużnica and was a member of the editorial board of the Warsaw weekly Nowa Kultura. Brandys' works, mainly novels, include Miasto niepokonane ("Invincible City," 1946), a book about Warsaw; Sprawiedliwi ludzie ("Just People," 1953), a play about the Polish revolt of 1905; Obywatele ("Citizens," 1954); Obrona Grenady ("The Defense of Granada," 1955); and various short stories. His novel cycle, Miédzy wojnami ("Between the Wars"), comprises Samson (1948), Antygona (1948), Troja, miasto otwarte ("Troy, Open City," 1949), and Czȟowiek nie umiera ("Man Does Not Die," 1951). The first part, Samson, tells the story of a hunted Jew whose tragic existence is alleviated only when he joins the partisans. After 1955 Brandys tried to assess the effects of the Stalinist era on Poland and to apportion the moral responsibility for his country's social and political situation. An accent of irony marks the volumes of Listy do pani Z.: Wspomnienia z teraźniejszości ("Letters to Mrs. Z.: Memoirs of the Present," 1st ser. 1957–58, 2nd ser. 1959–60; 19682), which contain Brandy's reflections on contemporary issues and attack outdated social, political, and artistic concepts.

His brother, Marian Brandys (1912–1998), wrote travel books and stories on historical themes.

[Stanislaw Wygodzki]