“Zamenhof in Warsaw” book promotion

We have the pleasure of inviting you to a promotion of a newly published book and a Q&A with its author

Roman Dobrzyński: “Zamenhof in Warsaw”

April 14th, 2019 (Sunday), 5 PM
Ludwik Zamenhof Centre, 19 Warszawska Street
host: Agnieszka Kajdanowska
free entry
the book will be available for purchase for 20 PLN

We submit to you, the reader, a publication written by Roman Dobrzyński entitled Zamenhof in Warsaw. It is without a doubt, that this edition will enrich our knowledge regarding Ludwik Zamenhof and of Esperanto, but there is one thing that makes it stand out among all the other works about the creator of the international language and that is its form. The author proposes to take us on a walk through the city of Warsaw following in the footsteps of Ludwik Zamenhof and his family. The book is, in a manner of speaking, a guide through a city with which, after leaving Białystok in 1837, they had bound their lives. It was here that Ludwik Zamenhof gave form to his youthful ideals which he absorbed in the multicultural city of Białystok. Zamenhof in Warsaw is also a pioneering work about the fates of the other members of the Zamenhof family. Details of their biographies disclosed by Roman Dobrzyński prove that Ludwik was not the only outstanding, multitalented and successful person in this family. Most of his close kin were also Esperantists engaged in the worldwide promotion of the international language.

The author paints Warsaw as a city of opportunity, where the Jewish community, including the Zamenhof family, can hope to find a new life. Unfortunately, years later, it becomes a place of their tragic death symbolized by the Umschlagplatz. Ironic is the fact, that it was a street bearing the name of Ludwik Zamenhof that brought them out of the Warsaw ghetto to this place, because it was from here that they were put onto transports to the Treblinka Death Camp. Those that did manage to survive did so in miraculous circumstances. That is definitely true of Ludwik Zamenhof’s own grandson, Ludwik Krzysztof Zaleski Zamenhof, and his mother Wanda Zamenhof. Roman Dobrzyński relates their unbelievable story and brings up other examples where, thanks to the help of the people of good will on the Aryan side, it was possible to smuggle out from the confines of the ghetto’s walls the Jews sentenced to be exterminated.

Getting around Ludwik Zamenhof’s Warsaw will no doubt be made easier with maps of the Muranów neighborhood and the Jewish Cemetery located along Okopowa Street. Additionally, we can study the Zamenhof family tree, published for the first time in such an extensive form – the fruit of the labor of Roman Dobrzyński and the employees of the Ludwik Zamenhof Center – allowing us to become more familiar with the fates of the other members of the family.

This second, improved and supplemented edition of Zamenhof in Warsaw boasts a new layout and has been translated into English.

Roman Dobrzyński was born in 1937 in Warsaw. He is a writer, journalist, traveler, director of documentaries, tv reporter, fascinated with the Ibero-American world, author of the books, among others about Spain, Portugal, Peru, Brazil and Nicaragua.

He has been an active promoter of Esperanto who stresses Polish roots of this international language. Active member of the Esperanto movement. As a president of the Polish Association of Esperanto, in 1987 he was organizing the World Esperanto Congress in Warsaw commemorating the international language’s 100th birthday. In 1989 he became the vice-chairman of the World Esperanto Association (UEA) and in 2005 he was granted the title of the Association’s honorary member.

After Polish, Esperanto is the second language in which Roman Dobrzyński creates. He has published hundreds of articles in Esperanto press and realized several dozen films with commentary in Esperanto. In 2011, in Copenhagen, for his film Japana Printempo (Japanese Spring) about the Oomoto cultural movement, he was awarded the first prize at the Fine Arts Competition of the World Esperanto Association. A large portion of his popularity can be accredited to his book Zamenhofa Street, written in Polish as an interview with Ludwik Krzysztof Zaleski-Zamenhof, the grandson of the creator of Esperanto. The book, was translated into Esperanto and published in Lithuania in 2003. Its translation has been published in 15 languages.

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