Jan Błoński

Jan Błoński (15 January 1931 – 10 February 2009) was a Polish historian, literary critic, publicist and translator. He was a leading representative of the Kraków school of literary criticism, regarded as one of the most influential critics of postwar Poland.

Jan Błoński
Front cover of Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto (the Misfortunate Poles look at the Ghetto) by Jan Błoński, .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background-image:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background-image:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background-image:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-image:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:12px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}ISBN 978-83-08-042-01-4
Front cover of Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto (the Misfortunate Poles look at the Ghetto) by Jan Błoński, ISBN 978-83-08-042-01-4
Born(1931-01-15)15 January 1931
Warsaw, Poland
Died10 February 2009(2009-02-10) (aged 78)
OccupationWriter, academic

Professor of the Jagiellonian University, Błoński was habilitated there for the work entitled Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński and the beginnings of the Polish Baroque. He was the literary editor for the publication of Witold Gombrowicz's collected works in 1986–88 through Wydawnictwo Literackie. He was also the Fellow of Collegium Invisibile. In 1996–2001 he served as juror for the Nike Literary Award. In November 1995 he was awarded the Kraków Book of the Month Award for the collected works of Sławomir Mrożek, his long-time friend from the Stalinist period.[1]


Jan Błoński was born in Warsaw in 1931. During the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany, he witnessed the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 when some 300,000 Jews were sent to Treblinka and exterminated in a single classified operation.[2] Błoński later wrote that a Jewish boy who escaped, run into him on the street but he didn't help, which many years later brought about a deep feeling of guilt, and inspired his best-known piece of writing published by Tygodnik Powszechny in 1987 under the Polish title "Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto" (the Poor Poles look at the Ghetto) invariably undermining the historical significance of the rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust.[3]

Błoński finished his Polish studies at the Jagiellonian University in 1952 during the darkest years of Stalinist terror in Poland.[4] In 1953, he participated in the defamation of Catholic priests from Kraków, three of whom were condemned to death by the Communist government during the Stalinist show trial of the Kraków Curia – he was one of several signatories of an open letter from ZLP to Polish authorities supporting the persecution of Catholic religious leaders groundlessly accused of treason and imprisoned by the Ministry of Public Security – their death sentences were not enforced although Father Józef Fudali died in unexplained circumstances while in prison.[5][6][7][8][9] Błoński obtained a position with the Institute of Literary Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1959–62 (after the Polish October). From 1970 he was employed at the Jagiellonian University. He was a vice-rector for didactic affairs (1981–84), director of the Institute of Polish Studies (1988–91), director of the Department of the Theatre (1977–1980) and the Department of the 20th Century Polish Literature (1995–97). As professor, he also lectured Polish literature at the University of Sorbonne, the University of Clermont-Ferrand and the Paris University IV. He died on 10 February 2009 in Kraków.[4]


  1. ^ "List of Fellows". Collegium Invisible ci.edu.pl, Warsaw. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. ^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Jan Błoński. "Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto". Tygodnik Powszechny. p. 7. Archived from the original (Internet Archive) on February 14, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Jerzy Jarzębski (2009). "Prof. Jan Błoński" (PDF). In memoriam. First published in Gazeta Wyborcza 38/2009. Jagiellonian University. pp. 14–16. Retrieved March 6, 2013 – via direct download 1.03 MB.
  5. ^ "Ks. Józef Fudali (1915–1955), kapłan Archidiecezji Krakowskiej". Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-26.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Institute of National Remembrance.
  6. ^ David Dastych, "Devil's Choice. High-ranking Communist Agents in the Polish Catholic Church." Archived 2007-03-01 at the Wayback Machine Canada Free Press (CFP), 10 January 2007.
  7. ^ Wojciech Czuchnowski Blizna. Proces kurii krakowskiej 1953, Kraków 2003.
  8. ^ Dr Stanisław Krajski, "Zabić księży." Archived 2011-09-14 at the Wayback Machine Katolicka Gazeta Internetowa, 2001-12-01.
  9. ^ Damian Nogajski, WINY MAŁE I DUŻE – CZYLI KTO JEST PASZKWILANTEM. Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine Polskiejutro.com, No. 227; 11 September 2006.

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