Jan Rompski (in english)

Jan Rompski


translated by Sabina Szymikowska

Jan Rompski was born in Kartuzy. After finishing primary school he studied typography. He passed his secondary school certificate exams in Poznań without having attended the course. He worked in education in Wielkopolska, where Trepczyk was working as a teacher at that time. From 1938 to 1939 he was the director of a social welfare unit in Wejherowo. Soon after establishing The Regional Teacher Association in 1929, he joined in and from 1933 published his texts in Zrzësz Kaszëbskô. In 1938 he was shortly its editor-in-chief. In 1939, as a Polish soldier he was taken captive by the Germans. He later worked as a baker’s assistant, railwayman and as a worker. In 1931 he joined Tajna Organizacja Wojskowa „Gryf Pomorski“ (Underground Military Organisation „The Pomeranian Griffin“). Rompski was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp in Stutthof. After the war he resumed work for Zrzësz Kaszëbskô, where from 1945 to 1946 he was the editor of the supplement Chëcz. At the same time, he was studying ethnography in Toruń. His master’s thesis concerned Smãtk, the Kashubian devil. After graduating in 1949, Rompski carried out archaeological research into the early history of Poland. From 1950 he worked for the Regional Group Gdańsk at the State Art Institute, whose aim was to collect pieces of Kashubian folk music. After a year, he went on to work in The Pomeranian Museum in Toruń, first as a curator and then as the administrative director. In 1960 he was promoted to director of the department of science and education. In 1965 – 1967 Rompski was the curator of the Museum in Grudziądz and later, he became the director of the department of regional architecture at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń. He was one of the founder members of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association in 1956. He died shortly before being awarded a PhD degree for his work on Kashubian mythology.

He made his debut with the poem Czej in Zrzësz Kaszebskô in 1933. His poems were printed in Zrzësz Kaszëbskô, Chëcz, Kaszëbë and in the Newsletter of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association (later Pomerania). Apart from poetry, Zrzësz Kaszebskô printed also passages of his dramas. Kaszëbë printed his poems and articles on the Kashubian folk art. Three Rompski’s poems were included in Kaszëbsczi Piesniôk, a collection of Kashubian songs by Jan Trepczyk and in the anthologies Ma jesma òd mòrza (1963), Antologia współczesnej poezji ludowej (1967), Wybór współczesnej poezji kaszubskiej (1967), Pogłosy ziemi (1971), Piaśnica (1971), Kaschubische Anthologie (1973), Modra struna (1973), Westrzód dôczi (1977). Also, his texts were printed in the collection of poems Do Pamiãtnika released on the occasion of Reverend Franciszek Grucza’s first celebrated mass.

Most of his prose works haven’t been published, except for the passages from his autobiographic novel Ùrwónô spiéwa, which he started writing in 1943. His short stories Wiktór (Chëcz 1946), Gbùrstwò (Chëcz 1946), Anka (Chëcz 1946), Lasowô krowa (Pomerania 1976) were printed in episodes. Only part of his short story Znak was printed in Chëcz (1946). W drôpce złégò still remains in manuscript. Rompski is also the author of the dramas Wzénik Arkònë (Zrzësz Kaszëbskô 1938-39), Jiwer òstatnëch ( Pomerania 1977) and the short dramas for amateur theatres Gãsy ùd, Jich tragedie, Lelek, Lepszé chëcze, Pan w okularach, Pòrénk, Reknica, Roztrãbarch, Scynanié kani, Za zemiã (in manuscript) and Jô chcã na swiat (printed in 1987). His vaudeville Òżniwinë with music composed by Jan Trepczyk was printed in Zrzësz Kaszëbskô in 1947. Rompski is also the author of the radio drama and the dissertation Ścinanie kani. Kaszubski zwyczaj ludowy (Toruń 1973).

The collections of Rompski’s poems Pòmión zwònów (1970) and Wiérztë (1980). were released after his death. Most of his works still remain in manuscript.

His works have been translated into German.

Rompski was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit.

He wrote under the pseudonyms : R., I-r, Rąbiók, Rãbiok.

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