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Herling, Gustaw

Born: 1919 AD
Died: 2000 AD
Nationality: Polish
Categories: Authors, Essayists

1919 – He was born on the 20th day of May this year in Kielce, Poland into a Jewish family. He is best known for writing a personal account of life in the Soviet gulag – A World Apart.


1939 – During the fall of this year, he co-founded an underground resistance organization "Polska Ludowa Akcja NiepodlegBo[ciowa, PLAN". As the organization’s courier, he traveled to then Soviet occupied Lvov.


1940 – In March of this year, he was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced on fabricated espionage charges. He was imprisoned in Vitsebsk and a gulag in Arkhangelsk region for 2 years.


1942 – He was released in this year under the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement. He joined Gen. Wladyslaw Anders’ Army (Polish II Corps) and later fought in Italy at Monte Cassino.


1947 he co-founded and initially co-edited the political and cultural magazine Kultura, then published in Rome. When the magazine moved to Paris he settled first in London and finally in Naples, Italy.


1951 – His most famous book “A World Apart” was translated into English by Andrzej Ciolkosz. Bertrand Russell published it in this year. The French translation of the book was not published until 1995, the Italian one until 1994.


1958 – He was the winner of many literary prizes: Kultura in this year, Jurzykowski in 1964, Ko[cielskis in 1966, The News in 1981, the Italian Premio Viareggio prize, the international Prix Gutenberg, and French Pen-Club.


1997 – The selection from Journal Written at Night, a journal he was writing for 30 years, was translated by Ronald Strom and published as Volcano and Miracle this year.


1998 – He was awarded the Order of the White Eagle.


2000 – He died on the 4th day of July this year in Naples, Italy.


2003 – A collection of his short stories “The Noonday Cemetery” and other stories was translated by Bill Johnston.