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Wiesława Różewicz, widow of Tadeusz Różewicz, is dead

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Wiesława Różewicz, wife of the poet Tadeusz Różewicz, died at the age of 100 – informed the National Institute. Ossoliński in Wrocław. They were married for 65 years. Różewicz said about his wife that she “always has a smile on her face” and that she is his “big victory in life.”

Wiesława Różewicz (née Kozłowska, born in 1924) was a Home Army liaison during World War II. She met Tadeusz Różewicz during the occupation. Apparently, Wiesława – a beautiful blonde – first became interested in Tadeusz's brother, Janusz. “We met at his house in 1943. I was his older brother Janusz's courier and he once took me to his parents. And there Tadeusz was sitting by the stove, smiling ironically. Then I brought him some conspiratorial mail… or he brought mail to me.” – she recalled in 2018 in a conversation with Kalina Błażejowska. Then he gave her her debut “Forest Echoes” to type. The poet wrote by hand until the end of his life, and Wiesława copied his works for half a century.

Wiesława recalled that she quickly realized that she was dealing with an outstanding poet. – But if he were not great, would I love him less? That wasn't the point, she said years later. After the war, Wiesława got a job in Gliwice, first in the Red Cross, then in a printing house. Tadeusz studied in Krakow and visited her often, they moved in together, and on February 15, 1949, they got married. When asked about the secret of the durability of the marriage, Wiesława said: “We simply liked talking to each other. About everything. My husband had knowledge in various fields, so I learned a lot from him.” Apparently they never had an argument. They solved problems by talking, although Wiesława gave in more often. “When I realized that my husband wanted to be right, I gave it to him. Which was harmful to me. And so everything stayed within our walls.” They never questioned the point of being together. “I don't think we thought about it. We thought that if something exists, it exists. We had no doubts,” Wiesława recalled. They were married for 65 years.

In his 2009 poem “For the 60th wedding anniversary”, Różewicz again wrote about Wiesława's smile: “The smile on your face brightens our home and my life. The shadow on your face turns off the light in me, in my poetry, on our street, which “It's called the Ray. When you suffer, everything flies out of my hands, the world stands still. When you're angry, it goes dark, I don't know what to do with myself.”

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Wiesława RóżewiczPAP/Maciej Kulczyński

“A model of a professionally active woman who also cares for her family”

Prof. Barbara Misztal, associated with the Różewicz family, recalled Wiesława: “For me, Aunt Wiesława was a model of a professionally active woman who cared for her family at the same time. I was looking for role models and began to build the image of life that I encountered at the Różewicz family's. I observed a house with a nineteenth-century tradition of celebrating family life, at the same time contemporary and at the highest intellectual level, which developed my ambitions. There I learned to distinguish knowledge from appearances. I saw Wiesława greeting Tadeusz. It happened once, in a house on Promień Street, that my uncle and I were sitting at the table in the living room. My aunt came in and, as usual, smiled at him. He turned his face towards me and said: “Look, Wiesława is brilliant, she always has a smile on her face.” Tadeusz smiled back. It felt calm, family-like and cordial. I was touched by this mood. and after such meetings I felt stronger.” In letters to his friend Ryszard Przybylski, Różewicz calls Wiesława “a great victory in life.” “I never told you about it, she seems more interesting to me than Beatrice – that Italian Dante – but I am (however) worse, even though I was nominated for 'Nike'” – wrote the poet. “I don't know if it's not selfish or convenient that I want to die before you,” wrote Różewicz, who died on April 24, 2014 at the age of 93. Wiesława died almost exactly 10 years after him.

Main photo source: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński

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