Jón Trepczik (in english)

Jón Trepczik


translated by Sabina Szymikowska

Jan Trepczyk was born in Strysza Buda, near Mirachowo. During his period at primary school (1914-1921), he met his friend Aleksander Labuda. After finishing primary school, he began his studies at the Teachers’ College in Kościerzyna. During his studies (1921-1926) he met Reverend Leon Heyke, who exerted an enormous influence on young Trepczyk to start his work in the field of the Kashubian studies. After graduating from college, Trepczyk worked as a teacher in Kartuzy and later he was transferred to the school in Miszewo, near Kartuzy, where he worked until 1934. He was a member of „Zrzeszeńcy“ and together with Aleksander Labuda they established the Regional Teachers’ Association and were founders of the magazine Zrzesz Kaszëbskô. In 1930 Trepczyk married Aniela Rompska, Jan Rompski’s sister. He had some shares in Gryf, a company publishing Gryf in 1931- 1934. In 1934 Trepczyk was made to move to Rogóżno in Wielkopolska, where he taught in the local school and in 1935 published Kaszëbsczi piesniôk. September 1939 found him in Tłukawy, but he got the permission to return to Kashubia. The war times appeared turbulent for him: from 1940 to 1943 he worked in Sianowo as a cashier and then was enlisted into the Wehrmacht, fought in General Anders’s army, and finally, in 1946 he returned to Gdańsk via Naples and England. He was the co-editor of the resumed Kashubian magazine Zrzesz Kaszëbskô and the supplement Chëcz. In 1950-1960 Trepczyk ran a singing circle in Wejherowo. He was one of the founder members of the Kashubian Association (1956) and was for quite a long time the head of the Wejherowo branch. Opening the Museum of Kashubian and Pomeranian Literature and Music in Wejherowo was also his initiative. He retired in 1967.

He wrote his first poem in 1929 and made his artistic debut in Chëcz Kaszëbskô in 1930 with a passage from his novel Na szlachù zbrodnie. His poetic debut came in 1931 in Gryf with the poem Piesniô Sławë: Do Wòlë. In 1932, when Gryf ceased to be published and Zrzesz Kaszëbskô came into being, Trepczyk decided to join in writing articles for this magazine. And that’s where his mythological poem Pòsłańc – biôtczi mòrsczégò bòga was published. Trepczyk wrote articles for Grif Kaszëbsczi, Zrzësz Kaszëbskô, Chëcz, Echa Ziemi Wejherowskiej, Kaszëbë, Biuletyn ZK-P (Newsletter of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association) and Pomerania. His poems were included in the collection Do pamiãtnika on the occasion of Reverend Franciszek Grucza’s first celebrated mass in 1939.

Trepczyk edited his own section Domôcy nórcyk in Pomerania where he wrote articles touching Kashubian issues.

His works were included in the anthologies Ma jesma òd mòrza (1963), Od Bugu do Tatr i Bałtyku (1965), Wiersze proste jak życie (1966), Antologia współczesnej poezji ludowej (1967), Wybór współczesnej poezji kaszubskiej (1967), Wieś tworząca. III (1968), Pogłosy ziemi (1971), Kaschubische Anthologie (1973), Modra struna (1973), Westrzód dôczi (1977), Drëszné spiéwë (1977).

The year brought Kaszëbsczi piesniôk, a collection of songs by Jan Trepczyk, Aleksander Labuda, Jan Rompski and folk songs. Other collections of Trepczyk’s songs include Cztery pieśni kaszubskie (1968), Rodnô zemia (1974), Mòja chëcz (1978), Lecë chòrankò (1980), the collections of his poems Mòja stegna (1970), Òdecknienié (1977) and a collection of poems for children Ùkłôdk dlô dzôtk (published 1975 and 1980). Trepczyk’s works have been translated into German, Slovenian, Lusatian, Bretonian and Belorussian.

He wrote under the pseudonym Mërk.

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