- November 8, 2013
Tadeusz Bujnicki: My father was a local patriot
Literary Vilnius is not limited to Mickiewicz or Konwicki. In the interwar period also Teodor Bujnicki was a part of the “artistic salon”. Later murdered and now unfairly forgotten poet, one of the founders of Żagary Literary Group.
Son of the poet, Tadeusz Bujanicki, a professor and historian of Polish literature, decided to remind us of his father. Yesterday, in Polish Institute in Vilnius, took place a presentation of his new book titled “Teodor Bujnicki. Ostatni bard Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego”.
“At the beginning I would like to say that this is not my benefit performance. I would like to hide and talk about myself as little as possible. I want to talk about the book that is devoted to my father, the book that me and plenty of other people succeeded to publish. I want to thank to all my friends” – started modestly prof. Tadeusz Bujnicki.
The idea of writing the book appeared in 2008 in Vilnius during a session of the Institute of Lithuanian Culture and Folklore that was devoted to the 100th anniversary of poet’s birthday. Eventually it appeared in print in 2012.
“I can’t valuate this book because I was personally involved in its publishing. It is good when someone can judge it objectively (…). This book is not only about a poet but also about an inhabitant of Vilnius. There is no doubt that my father was a local patriot. He was very attached to the city”- said honestly one of the co-author of the book. According to the poet’s son, Bujnicki always saw Vilnius as a multicultural and multinational city with no room for nationalism. Tadeusz Bujnicki mentioned also a family anecdote how little Teodorek played together with children of future president of Lithuania – Anastas Smetona.
During the meeting someone asked a question about the death of the poet. In 1940 during the first Soviet occupation Teodor Bujnicki was an editor of collaboration magazine “Prawda Wileńska” that was later renewed in 1944. The Home Army pronounced a death sentence and Bujnicki was killed in November 1944.
“It is hard to answer this question because I can not find one definite answer. In 1937 my father published very strident satirical poem about Moscow Trials (…). He always had leftist views. It doesn’t mean he was orthodox. On the other hand, he was a kind of man who could not handle threat. He had three children. I am not trying to justify, his poems published between 1940 and 1941 were poor and conformist considering the then government. I believe they were justified by protectiveness and in the end caused his death” said T. Bujnicki.
Son of the poet said that there is a possibility that this situation was just another provocation of NKVD to begin new repressions. On the other hand, in the underground resistance organizations there were a lot of people from the National Democracy circle that had a bone to pick with pre-war leftist intelligentsia. Teodor Bujnicki was a kind of a symbol, a well-known person whose sentence could be a lesson to the rest.
Tłumaczenie by Sara Howicka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Sara Howicka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.