Krystyna Zachwatowicz on Jerzy Giedroyc
no-image, Krystyna Zachwatowicz on Jerzy Giedroyc
Krystyna Zachwatowicz on Jerzy Giedroyc, "Tygodnik Powszechny" No 39, 24 September 2000.
"Tygodnik Powszechny" No 39,"MR. JERZY"
Krakow, 24 September 2000
Krystyna Zachwatowicz on Jerzy GiedroycAndrzej Wajda
and I began visiting Maisons-Laffitte regularly towards the end of the 1970s. Previously, we had become friends with Kot Jelenski and Michal Heller, a regular contributor to "Kultura" from Russia. We first went there to see Jozef Czapski
, but we took that opportunity to visit Mr. Jerzy
as well. Later, we would visit Paris more often, meeting with Mr. Jerzy each time. I found him enchanting: completely and selflessly committed to his work, to his mission, extremely courteous, with immense amounts of charm and a sense of humor besides. Contrary to appearances, he was also a very warm person.
He observed Poland with immeasurable wisdom and shrewdness. I was most affected by our last meetings, once Mr. Jerzy's dream had been fulfilled: Poland was free again, and he had fought for this all his life. My, how our Polish sins pained him...
We last met in March of this year. He knew I had organized an exhibition of Czapski's works in Krakow, which included a reconstruction of the painter's room at Maisons-Laffitte for which I was kindly praised in "Kultura." This may have been why I was instructed, during what would sadly prove our last meeting, to assist with a task undertaken by the Society of Friends of the Czapskis - namely, the deciphering of Jozef Czapski's diaries, deposited with the National Museum in Krakow
. Czapski's handwriting was largely illegible, and thus archivists must read the diaries. The Ministry of Culture has pledged to finance this work that will take many years. Jerzy also asked that an exhibition of Czapski's works finally be organized in Paris, which will be more difficult.
In his last letter he wrote how he wanted Czapski's reconstructed room to become a permanent display in the renovated Museum of the Czapskis in Krakow. I hope we will be able to fulfill at least this wish.
© by "Tygodnik Powszechny"
"Tygodnik Powszechny" printed this text in its 24 September 2000 issue following the death of Jerzy Giedroyc. It appears on www.culture.pl - courtesy of the editors and publishers of "Tygodnik Powszechny" - in connection with "The Year of Jerzy Giedroyc," celebrated in 2006.