Autor Wątek: Lem´s ancestry  (Przeczytany 61523 razy)

Pekka

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Lem´s ancestry
« dnia: Marzec 30, 2006, 08:48:53 pm »
"Born in 1921 in Lwów, Poland, Lem was a curious child, the type of boy who played with his toys by dissecting them. As a teenager, he was inspired by the classic works of H. G. Wells, who used science fiction as a means of social criticism.

Lem, whose family was of Jewish ancestry, survived the Nazi occupation by a combination of luck and deceit. He worked under a false identity as a welder in a German-owned firm that recycled raw materials, a position that gave him a chance to pass materials to the Polish resistance. When his cover was blown, he went into hiding, resurfacing when the Red army arrived in 1944. After the war, Lem studied medicine but declined to finish his degree, since doctors were prime candidates for the postwar draft. Instead, he turned to science, taking a position at Konwersatorium Naukoznawcze, a Krakow-based research institute. That decision set the wheels of his bumpy career in motion."
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.12/solaris.html

Weird...is this true? Of course a man´s ancestry is not important, his works are, but I always thought that Dr. Lem was Polish. The main reason to ask is that I am planning to write about him and would like to be so accurate as possible.

greetings, Pekka

Terminus

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Marzec 30, 2006, 11:39:49 pm »
It was once said that there's something about Lem having Jewish ancestry in the High Castle (Wysoki Zamek), Lem's autobiography concernigh his youth.
But I cannot find it (I mean I have the book and I've checked it for it but haven't found anything. I guess I should try searching once more sometime):)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 30, 2006, 11:40:45 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Metalist

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Marzec 30, 2006, 11:55:32 pm »
I think Lem was half Jewish from his father's side. It seems to me that some characters in the Hospital of Transfiguration were influenced by Lem's Jewish heritage.

Pekka

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 12:20:22 am »
Cytuj
I think Lem was half Jewish from his father's side. It seems to me that some characters in the Hospital of Transfiguration were influenced by Lem's Jewish heritage.


At least in the movie there is a female jewish physician who has fled Germany ("J" in German passport).

Know a Polish lady who is married to a Finn. Her mother is Jewish and father Polish. She was still a child during the war and has told me that a German soldier pointed a Luger at her when wanting information about the whereabouts of her mother, who was hiding. She was not harassed after that so probably half-Jewish people were not transferred to Ghettos, but how could Lem´s father survive, if he was Jewish? Just curious...Pekka

Metalist

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 07:07:22 am »
I've read a couple of biographies (incuding the one on this site, I believe) that mentioned that Lem had to set up a false identity and play a game of deception with the Nazis for a while. I've heard of similar stories, infact my grandmother had to do the same during the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine. I would speculate that his father (if indeed he was Jewish) would have done the same. Those doctors are pretty smart. ;)
I'm pretty sure that eventually the Nazis started sending people to the ghettos that weren't 100% Jewish. As you know, their "investigational tactics" in the matter were rather "crude".
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 31, 2006, 07:18:34 am wysłana przez Metalist »

wetal

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 10:37:53 am »
  Started to seek for jewish roots.Check your own,and you`ll find some relative who lives in Israel.Most of jews whom I know are unbearable but clever and intelligent people.
 A.Einstein was a jew too,and I cannot understand what`s wrong if you belong to this national group.
 If someone shares rasist views or has a certain complexes simply say :'' you know I don`t actually like them as they are what they are''.
 I don`t think that this topic is fitting to the ocassion.

Terminus

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 01:21:34 pm »
Haha, it's funny because we've had the same sort of "misunderstanding" in the Polish section, wetal.
It's nothing wrong about Pekka asking for Lem's roots,  notice that he hasn't said that it implies anything. He is just curious.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 31, 2006, 01:21:58 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Pekka

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 10:01:51 pm »
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Haha, it's funny because we've had the same sort of "misunderstanding" in the Polish section, wetal.
It's nothing wrong about Pekka asking for Lem's roots,  notice that he hasn't said that it implies anything. He is just curious.


Thank you, Terminus. Here is another piece of information from the web:  
Stanislaw Lem was born in 1921 in Lvov, Poland, to a family of the professional class; both his father and uncle were doctors. As a young man Lem planned to become a doctor himself, enrolling at the Lvov Medical Institute. When the Institute closed due to the war in 1941, he became a mechanic and welder for a German corporation. During the lean war years Lem, who was himself of Jewish ancestry, escaped a number of close calls as Jewish acquaintances disappeared around him. On at least one occasion, he was nearly arrested sneaking out supplies from his workplace for the Polish Resistance.
http://www.themodernword.com/scriptorium/lem.html

And Washington Post writes:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/27/AR2006032701571.html

During World War II, his secular Jewish family struggled to stay together and survive. The family forged identification papers to avoid internment in the Jewish ghetto.

So friends, if I write about Lem, which one is the most appropriate expression -

to call Lem Polish, or Polish-Jewish?

Maybe I am so obsessive about a correct definition because in Finland you call people Finns or Finnish-Swedes depending on the native tongue. Swedes is reserved for Swedes in Sweden. Usually, but not always you find out by the name. Or shoud the term jewish be reserved only practitioners of Jewish religion, because, as it has already been said, we all are mixed-up (my mother´s family originates from Sweden, but they changed language about 200 years ago so you call them Finns).

Cheers, Pekka

Pekka

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Marzec 31, 2006, 10:24:41 pm »
Excuse me, one entry still: Spiegel schreibt:

ZUR PERSON
DPA
Stanislaw Lem, 84, wurde als Sohn eines jüdischen Arztes im galizischen Lwow (Lemberg) geboren. Mit einem Intelligenzquotienten von 180 soll er das intelligenteste Kind Südpolens gewesen sein. Lem studierte Medizin, Physik, Biologie, Kosmologie und Philosophie. 2004 wurde er in die Berliner Akademie der Künste aufgenommen. Zu seinen wichtigsten Büchern zählen "Sterntagebücher", "Robotermärchen", "Philosophie des Zufalls" und "Die Vergangenheit der Zukunft". Die Verfilmung seines Romans "Solaris" wurde ein Welterfolg.

Probably we can suppose that Lem´s father indeed was of Jewish ancestry?

Cheers, Pekka

Terminus

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Kwiecień 01, 2006, 12:01:02 am »
Well I don't speak German, however I guess it is something about Lem's father goin' on.

Pekka

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Kwiecień 01, 2006, 12:46:31 am »
Cytuj
Excuse me, one entry still: Spiegel schreibt:

ZUR PERSON
DPA
Stanislaw Lem, 84, wurde als Sohn eines jüdischen Arztes im galizischen Lwow (Lemberg) geboren.
Cheers, Pekka


was born as a son of a Jewish physician...

Pekka :-)

jarutek

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Kwiecień 06, 2006, 05:06:18 pm »
Cytuj

So friends, if I write about Lem, which one is the most appropriate expression -

to call Lem Polish, or Polish-Jewish?



I don`t know what was His kind of race of homo sapiens but as writer He was Polish writer certainly.
Cheers.

jacekmw

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Kwiecień 07, 2006, 09:43:43 am »
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(...) Mit einem Intelligenzquotienten von 180 soll er das intelligenteste Kind Südpolens gewesen sein. (...)

That's an impressive IQ of 180. As well as quite an extraordinary claim that S. Lem may have been the most inteligent child born in southern Poland. I'm just wondering what sources der Spiegel came across ?

Deckert

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Kwiecień 07, 2006, 11:54:25 am »
Just a few days ago I read the latest issue of Tygodnik Powszechny (polish catolic newspaper or magazine) which was dedicated to Lem. Lem has been contributing to this newspaper for many years. I don't have this issue on me right now so I can't quote, but I remember that Lem was telling there that for many years he had absolutely no knowledge on his jewish ancestry. The truth was brought to light during WWII.
So he for sure had jewish predecessors. As far as I know he didn't know anything more than that. He didn't know Hebrew either. He was born Polish and stayed him to the very end.

CU
Deck
« Ostatnia zmiana: Kwiecień 07, 2006, 02:25:15 pm wysłana przez Deckert »

daffodil2006

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Re: Lem´s ancestry
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Kwiecień 07, 2006, 08:36:55 pm »
You may find some useful information in his autobiographic novel
High castle(sorry for probable mistake in translation. In Russian it is "âűńîęčé çŕěîę").