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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Prof. Józef SZAJNA

Birth date: 13 March 1922

Date of death: 28 June 2008

Award date: 22 May 2003

USil Senate resolution date: 4 March 2003

Applying unit: Council of the Faculty of Philology

Artist, painter, graphic artist, set designer, director, art theorist, teacher, creator of authors theatre, lecturer at The Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (1954-1956), professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (from 1972). Prisoner of the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II. Director of “The Ludowy Theatre” in Cracow (1963-1966), and “The Klasyczny Theatre” in Warsaw (1972-1982) which he transformed into STUDIO Centre for the Arts – Gallery Theatre. He collaborated with theatres in Poland and abroad, including theatres in England, Egypt, Spain, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Turkey. Author of numerous books, articles, videotapes and monographs, series of paintings and compositions, drawings, and spatial installations. Member of international associations of artists, president of European Society of Culture, member of Accademia Italia delle Arti e del Lavoro, jury member of Leonardo da Vinci World Award in Mexico, member of The International Auschwitz Committee, honorary member of Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques. Honorary citizen of Opole, Rzeszów and Tczew. He was honoured with numerous awards and decorations, including the following: Mera Ankara, World Cultural Prize – Statue of Liberty, “Foundation of A. Jurzykowski” in New York, L’ordre du Merite Culture, “Przegląd Kulturalny” Award, Minister of Culture and Art Prize (I, II, III Degree), Merit for Polish Culture, Prize of the City of Cracow, The Capital City of Warsaw Award, The Order of the Banner of Work, Chivalry Cross of Polonia Restituta Order, Commander’s Cross, Commander’s Cross with Star, Polonia Restituta Grand Cross, the Auschwitz Cross, Award of the Prime Minister and the Award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The initiator of creating the Mound of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Auschwitz. He received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Oldenburg.

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