Bruno Schulz

~ 1892 – 1942 ~

Bruno Schulz was born in Drohobycz (now Drogobych, Ukraine), a small town in Galicia, into a Jewish family. The area was then part of the Austrian Empire. His father run a clothing shop, but left it to the care of his wife due to his poor health. Also a very important figure in the house was the sadistic maid. Schulz studied architecture at Lvov University and fine arts in Vienna, specializing in lithography and drawing. After returning to his native town, he worked from 1924 to 1939 as an art teacher in the local gymnasium.
After his friend Wladyslaw Riff died in 1927, Schulz stopped writing prose for years.

Schulz did not start his literary career until the 1930s. His reviews appeared in literary magazine In the mid-1930s he spent some time in Warsaw and visited also Paris. Although Schulz’s correspondence with the Yiddish poet Deboah Vogel and other women was intense, he never married. In 1938 Schulz was awarded the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature. Between 1939 and 1941 Schulz lived in the Soviet-occupied territory, but when Germany attacked the U.S.S.R., Drohobycz was occupied by the Nazis.
A Gestapo officer, Felix Landau, liked Schulz’s drawings, arranged him a pass out of the ghetto, and commissioned him to paint frescoes in his house. Landau killed a Jewish dentist who was protected by another Gestapo officer, Karl G√ľnther. In the “Aryan” quarter Schulz was spotted by him, and shot in retaliation, on the street in November 19, 1942. The manuscript of his novel, entitled Messiah, is said to exist in the KGB archives relating to the Gestapo.

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