Jozef Hen

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  • Photo taken in:
    Warsaw
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a photo of me from the 2000s. I don’t know who took this picture. It is part of my private archive.

I was a Zionist ever since I turned seven years old. It was humiliating for me that my nation didn't have its own state. There was no talk of anti-Semitism, but I thought a Jewish state should be set up.

I made Zionist speeches when I was seven years old. I would stand on a table in our villa in Michalin and shout: 'Precz z Anglia' ('Down with England'), because England was an opponent then and a lot depended on England.

There were times when it was better not to advertise my heritage, but I was never ashamed of it. There is a kind of duality in me, although now I feel primarily a Jew, not a Pole of Jewish origin.

I was always a supporter of Zionism and I was full of admiration for Israel, which I have visited four times.

The first time I went there was in 1963, before the war. I'm a supporter of the existence of the state of Palestine, but I don't want it to be a country which destroys another one.

I have become convinced that I have a group of faithful readers, who find consolation in reading my books.

I have also written three biographical books: 'Ja, Michal z Montaigne' (I, Michel from Montaigne'), 'Blazen - wielki maz. Opowiesc o Tadeuszu Boyu-Zelenskim' ('Jester - Great Statesman.

Story of Tadeusz Boy-Zelenski') [Warsaw, 1990], 'Moj przyjaciel krol' ('My Friend the King') [Warsaw, 2004], which significantly influence the Polish intelligentsia. That's my greatest success in life.

Interview details

Interviewee: Jozef Hen
Interviewer:
Kinga Galuszka
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2004
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Jozef Hen
Year of birth:
1923
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Warsaw
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Writer
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Cukier
    Year of changing: 
    1944
    Reason for changing: 
    Assimilation
    Decade of changing: 
    1940
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