“The diamond with which we shoot at the enemy” – this is what the historian of literature Stanisław Pigoń called Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, the poet who most fully expressed the fate of the so-called generations of Columbuses (Polish: Pokolenie Kolumbów). On August 4, 1944, Baczyński was killed in the Warsaw Uprising.
Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński belonged to the first generation born in independent Poland. He was born on January 22, 1921, in Warsaw as the son of a teacher Stefania née Zieleńczyk, from an assimilated Jewish family, and the well-known interwar literary critic Stefan Baczyński. The relationship between the poet’s parents did not go well, which eventually led to a separation. The bond with his single mother will remain one of the most important relationships in the poet’s life until the end.
Baczyński began to write poems as a student of the Stefan Batory Warsaw gymnasium. He was not an outstanding student, on the certificates were mostly “three”. He obtained the highest marks only from drawings and after graduating from high school he intended to enter the Academy of Fine Arts.
During the war, from the fall of 1942 to the summer of 1943, Baczyński studied Polonistics at the secret University of Warsaw.
In June 1942, he married Barbara Drapczyńska, a student of underground Polish studies. The marriage turned out to be exceptionally well-suited and compatible. During the occupation, Baczyński graduated from the underground Reserve Officer Cadet School “Agricola” and participated in several sabotage actions.
During the German occupation, Baczyński published 5 volumes of poetry.
The poet died during the Warsaw Uprising at Blanka’s Palace on August 4, around 4 p.m.
His wife, Barbara, died on September 1. They are both buried at the Military Cemetery in Warsaw’s Powązki cemetery.