Childhood & Early Life
Sergiusz Piasecki was born on April 1, 1901 in Lachowicze in the Northwestern Krai of the Russian Empire. His father was an ethnic Pole, who worked as a Russian nobleman, named Mikhail Pieasecki. His mother was a Belarusian servant named Klaudia Kukalowicz who became impregnated by Mikhail.
Sergiusz was shunned by his biological family and was raised by his stepmother, Filomena Gruszewska. He was openly hated both at home by Gruszewska and at school, where children jeered him with ethnic slurs against his Polish heritage.
His education ended at the equivalent of seventh grade after a reported incident of violence. He brought a weapon into school and was later convicted for assaulting one teacher.
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After being jailed for armed assault, Piasecki somehow managed to escape from prison. He never returned to school after the debacle.
In December 1917, he was in Moscow, Russia. He witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution.
Within months, he declared himself an avid anti-Communist. He then joined a Belarusian anti-Soviet militia named 'Green Oak'. The ‘Green Oak’ militia was commanded by the warlord Wiaczeslaw Adamowicz.
In February 1919, the Soviet Union invaded Poland. Polish troops soon captured and occupied the city of Minsk. When Adamowicz and his militia participated in the assault, Piasecki was rewarded with a scholarship to attend a Polish military academy.
On August 13, 1920, Sergiusz and the Polish Army fought the ‘Battle of Radzymin’. Although the fighting was fierce, he survived the battle unwounded.
After the ‘Battle of Radzymin’, he applied to join the Polish intelligence service. The multi-talented soldier soon got promoted to an operations directorate position, and was responsible for creating and maintaining a network of Polish field intelligence agencies working in Soviet Belarus.
He soon used his network to make substantial profits in trading drugs, alcohol and other illegal items. In February 1926, the young director was abruptly terminated from his job.
In July 1926, Piasecki committed armed robbery near the city of Wilno. A few days later, he and his girlfriend robbed a train in the same area.
After his girlfriend's confession, Sergiusz was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in Lida. After causing a riot in one prison and a disturbance in another, he finally settled down, using his free time to begin writing.
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Despite his ethnic heritage, he had to learn proper Polish in prison. In 1936, a reporter named Melchior Wankowicz toured several prisons in Poland and discovered Sergiusz’s work.
A year later, in 1937, Wankowicz helped Piasecki publish his book, 'The Lover of Ursa Major'. The book was so popular that the President of Poland pardoned him the same year.
In 1939, Poland was invaded by two foreign powers. After his country was overrun, this talented writer worked for the resistance guerillas as an executioner.
In 1945, he was forced into hiding in Poland to evade the Soviet-backed secret police. He however wrote the first volume of his ‘Trylogia złodziejska’ (‘Zlodziejska trilogy’) while in hiding.
In April 1946, he emigrated to Italy. He soon began corresponding with Jerzy Giedroyc and other exiled Polish writers.
He emigrated to England in 1947. He later moved in with his friend Bogdan Lubowiecki, a fellow exile from Poland.
In 1948, he published '7 pigulek Lucyfera'. He followed it up the next year with the release of his novel 'Strzep legendy'.
In 1963, Piasecki published ‘Adam and Eve’, a memoir about World War 2. A year later, he published 'The Tower of Babel', which covered the same topic.
Piasecki's novel ‘The Lover of Ursa Major’ has been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Yiddish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Estonian and Belorussian. The popular novel played a prominent role in the life of this famous writer as he shot to fame with this publication and was even pardoned from his prison sentence.