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Wilhelm Dichter

Born in Borysław (now in the Ukraine) in 1935, Dichter has lived since 1968 in Tewkesbury, Massachusetts. As a child, he survived the nightmare of the Nazi Occupation by hiding along with his parents in a box in an acquaintance's attic and, later, in a well. His father died before the war ended and Dichter came to southern Poland with his mother before finally settling in Warsaw. He left Poland during the anti-Semitic campaign of 1968 and has worked in the USA as a computer specialist.

Only in his sixties did he begin writing his life's story; God's Horse, published in Krakow in 1996, became a literary sensation and was nominated in the following year for the Nike, the top Polish literary prize. Dichter is not just another memoirist; rather, he builds his story like a novel, reconstructing the consciousness of the boy narrator of so many years ago, painting suggestive images and chiseling his language down to a spare literary instrument that effectively portrays the atmosphere of the 1940s. Few books tell us so much about the consciousness of Poles of Jewish origins, both in the times of the worst repression and in the periods when they held high official positions and constituted a privileged caste. Dichter is writing the next volume of his memoirs, which will cover the post-war years in Poland.

Source:; copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza.

His second book Szkoła bezbożników / A School for the Ungodly was nominated and become a finalist of the most prominent Polish literary award Nike 2000.

Selected Bibliography:

  • Koń Pana Boga / God's Horse, Krakow: Znak, 1996
  • Szkoła bezbożników / A School for the Ungodly, Krakow: Znak, 1999

Selected translations:

  • German: Das Pferd Gottes / God's Horse, Berlin: Rowohlt, 1998Rosenthals Vermächtnis / A School for the Ungodly, Berlin: Rowohlt, 2000
  • French: Le cheval du Bon Dieu / God's Horse, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1998
  • Dutch: Paard van God / God's Horse, Amsterdam: Querido Uitgeverij, 1998
  • Czech: Kůň; Pána Boha / God's Horse, Votobia 1997's picture
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Wilhelm Dichter


Yurii Andrukhovych, photo: Leszek Zych / Reporter

Andrukhovych, Brodsky, Davies, Gerould, Snyder, Sekiguchi...These are just some of many foreign academics and translators, who want to share Polish history and culture with the world. Who are they and what have they done? Read more about: A Short Guide to Famous Foreigners Fascinated with Poland

Wilhelm Dichter


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The writer’s book recently translated into English by Madeline G. Levine and released by the Northwestern University Press is presented at America’s largest annual international book fair Read more about: Wilhelm Dichter at BookExpo America: God's Horse and The Atheists' School

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