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Renowned Polish poet and author Jerzy Ficowski dies at 82

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH: Tuesday, May. 9, 2006 - 9:20 AM

Warsaw (dpa) - The leading biographer of Poland's literary legend Bruno Schulz, Polish poet and author Jerzy Ficowski died in Warsaw Tuesday aged 82, Poland's Writers' Guild confirmed.

A Polish anti-Nazi resistance fighter during the World War II Ficowski was also renowned for his tomes of poetry touching on the tragic fate of Polish Jews in the Holocaust.

He was the foremost expert author on the art and culture of Polish Roma, or gypsies, and the leading biographer of renowned Polish- Jewish graphic artist and author Bruno Schulz, who was gunned down by a German officer in his hometown of Drohobycz during the war.

Ficowski's biography of Schulz, entitled The Realms of the Grand Heresy, received rave reviews in both Poland and the United States.

Born in 1924, Ficowski also penned the foremost work on Polish Roma, The
Gypsies in Poland: History and Customs. Among his other books was The Vicinity of the Street of Crocodiles, in homage to Schulz.

Ficowski also penned dozens of tomes of poetry, much of it reflecting on human suffering during the Holocaust. His work has been widely translated into English, French, Hebrew and German.