(13.09.1894 - 27.12.1953) Julian Tuwim was one of the greatest, most famous Polish poets. His works are still very popular in Poland, they are read in kindergardens and schools, studied at universities. Tuwim was born in Łódź into a family of assimilated Jews. Both of his parents, Isadore and Adele, were educated members of intelligentsia and provided Julian a comfortable middle class upbringing. In 1905 the family had to move to Wrocław in order to escape antisemitic attacks at their house as well as possible repercussions following Isadore’s involvement in the revoltion of 1905.

Tuwim started writing in high school. He admired Leopold Staff’s poetry and sent him some of his early poems. Staff answered with a long letter in which he encouraged the young Tuwim to continue writing. Initially Tuwim’s poetry was characterized by an expression of vitality, optimism, and praise of urban life. Tuwim studied law in Warsaw (without much enthusias-- his parents encouraged him…). From the very beginning and throughout his career Tuwim was satirically inclined. According to an anegdote he used to say that three days a month he works for the cabaret so that the rest of time he can spend on serious literary challenges. He believed that although writing cabaret songs earns him good money however it doesn’t guarantee posthumous fame. He was wrong… Many of the songs he wrote for the Qui Pro Quo cabaret became evergreens and are still performed by famous Polish artists. He wrote for the most popular pre-war performers: Hanka Ordonówna, Adolf Dymsza, Mieczysław Fogg. Later his songs were performed by Ewa Demarczyk, Czesław Niemen, Kayah, Marek Grechuta.

In 1918 he co-founded the cabaret „Picador“. He was a member of the Skamandrites, an experimental poetical group which later joined with the futurists. Agnieszka Osiecka used to underline that her songs were heavily influenced by the poetry of Skamadrites. Tuwim also wrote satirical articles for the „Pins“ magazine and fantastic children’s poems including „Locomotive“ which is a bestselling work till today.

In 1939 Tuwim had to escape Poland. He emigrated thru Romania to France, Brasil, than the U.S. He wrote for the emigree weekly „Wiadomości Polskie“ but the collaboration broke off due to differences towards the politics of the Soviet Union. While abroad he wrote the „Polish Flowers“ an epic poem in which he remembers with nostalgia his early childhood in Łódź and in 1942, shaken by the horror of the Holocaust he published a manifesto „We, Polish Jews“. Tuwim’s mother was murdered by the Nazis in the ghetto.

After the Second World War Tuwim decided to return to the communist Poland. His collaboration with the communist regime disappointed and enraged his best friends and other Polish writers who either emigrated or were critical of the regime. Kazimierz Wyrzyński tried to understand Tuwim’s behaviour. He said: Julian Tuwim was a grand, fantastic poet but a stupid man“… Some scholars believe that had Tuwim lived longer (he died few months before Stali’s death) he would have understood his political mistake. To truly understand Tuwim’s difficult fate it is worth to read the recently publiched monography „Tuwim’s Face“ written by a Polish poet and critic Piotr Matywiecki.

One of Tuwim’s best famous songs-- „Around the Table“-- known also under the title „Tomaszów“, was performed by Ewa Demarczyk. Demarczyk also interpreted „Grande Valse Brilliante“. Julian Tuwim remained a beloved Polish poet, a monument to him stands in Łódź, he is buried in Warsaw.