Sergiusz Piasecki Biography

Sergiusz Piasecki, a renowned Polish language writer, overcame a challenging upbringing to become a celebrated figure in the literary world. Despite being born into shame and growing up as an outcast, Piasecki honed his language skills and eventually served his country as an intelligence agent. Following a series of events, including armed robberies and imprisonment, he discovered his passion for writing in Polish. His literary success granted him a pardon and catapulted him to regional fame. However, his career was marred by political turmoil, leading to his books being banned and his eventual exile. Despite these challenges, Piasecki continued to produce notable works in foreign lands until his peaceful retirement in old age.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Пясецкий, Сергей
  • Died At Age: 63
  • College Dropouts
  • Novelists
  • Died on: September 12, 1964
  • Place of Death: London

Childhood & Early Life

Sergiusz Piasecki was born on April 1, 1901 in Lachowicze in the Northwestern Krai of the Russian Empire. His father, Mikhail Pieasecki, was an ethnic Pole who worked as a Russian nobleman. His mother, Klaudia Kukalowicz, was a Belarusian servant who became pregnant by Mikhail. However, Sergiusz was shunned by his biological family and was raised by his stepmother, Filomena Gruszewska. He faced hatred both at home and at school, where he was jeered with ethnic slurs against his Polish heritage. His education ended at the equivalent of seventh grade after a violent incident where he brought a weapon into school and assaulted a teacher.

Career

After being jailed for armed assault, Piasecki managed to escape from prison and never returned to school. In December 1917, he witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution in Moscow, Russia. Within months, he declared himself an avid anti-Communist and joined a Belarusian anti-Soviet militia named ‘Green Oak’ commanded by Wiaczeslaw Adamowicz. When the Soviet Union invaded Poland in February 1919, Polish troops captured and occupied the city of Minsk. Piasecki was rewarded with a scholarship to attend a Polish military academy for his participation in the assault. He fought in the ‘Battle of Radzymin’ in August 1920 and survived unwounded. After the battle, he joined the Polish intelligence service and rose to a position in the operations directorate, responsible for creating and maintaining a network of Polish field intelligence agencies in Soviet Belarus. He also engaged in illegal activities, such as trading drugs and alcohol, using his network for profit. However, he was abruptly terminated from his job in February 1926. In July 1926, Piasecki committed armed robbery and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. While in prison, he began writing.

Personal Life & Legacy

Despite his ethnic heritage, Piasecki had to learn proper Polish in prison. In 1936, a reporter named Melchior Wankowicz discovered Sergiusz’s work during a tour of Polish prisons and helped him publish his book, ‘The Lover of Ursa Major’, in 1937. The book became popular, leading to his pardon by the President of Poland the same year. During World War II, Piasecki worked for the resistance guerillas as an executioner after Poland was invaded by foreign powers. In 1945, he went into hiding to evade the Soviet-backed secret police and wrote the first volume of his ‘Trylogia złodziejska’ (Thieves’ Trilogy). He emigrated to Italy in April 1946 and corresponded with other exiled Polish writers. He later moved to England in 1947 and published several more books, including ‘7 pigulek Lucyfera’ in 1948 and ‘Strzep legendy’ in 1949. Piasecki’s most famous work, ‘The Lover of Ursa Major’, was translated into multiple languages and played a significant role in his fame and pardon. He died on September 12, 1964 in London and is buried in Hastings Cemetery in England. Piasecki never married.

Trivia

Due to Piasecki’s work as an intelligence agent, much of his biography is known to be false or highly suspect. It is possible that every known fact about him may be a work of fiction. His books were banned in both the Soviet Union and Poland throughout the Communist era.

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