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Zdzisław Nardelli

Zdzisław Nardelli, a photo from the Kraków Photo Workshop “Pro Arte”, pre-1949.
Zdzisław Nardelli, a photo from the Kraków Photo Workshop “Pro Arte”, pre-1949.

Nardelli was culturally and artistically active in all the prisoner-of-war camps, where he wrote texts and poems, organised evening events, ran a theatre and prepared theatre performances. In Görlitz he made the acquaintance of the outstanding composer Olivier Messiaen who was a prisoner in Stalag VIII A. Messiaen took him under his charge. Nardelli organised “Polish Evenings” in which he recited his poetry to the sound of music composed by Messiaen whilst he was a prisoner. Thus Nardelli smoothed the way for the historic premiere of “Quartet for the End of Time” in Stalag VIII A. Today it is acknowledged as one of the most famous works in French chamber music and played in concert houses all over the world. Nardelli was held prisoner by the Nazis in Bonn, Monschau, Brauweiler and Cologne, where he was charged by the Gestapo of being involved in communist activities. He was finally found guilty and sent to the concentration camp in Buchenwald (detainee number 81824). Here he made contact with a communist underground cell. He succeeded in fleeing the camp shortly before its liberation by the American army in the first days of April 1945. From May onwards he began work in the Polish Centre in Erfurt as the head of the arts office. A short time afterwards he decided to return to Poland.

Nardelli was given the task of organising the programme of the Polish Radio broadcasting station in Kraków. Here he helped set up the Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Poland under the direction of Jerzy Gert and worked hard to ensure that the trumpet signal “Hejnał” was broadcast every day at noon from the tower of the Church of St Mary in Kraków. Since then this has been a fixed part of the tradition of the radio programme. In 1949 he was moved to Szczecin and Koszalin, where he completely overhauled and restructured the radio stations there. After the death of his wife, with whom he had one son, Piotr, he began a relationship with a wonderful woman with the extraordinary name of Teodozja. In 1956 he started work as the chief director of Polish Radio in Warsaw, responsible for all radio broadcasts (with the exception of literature). Between 1969 and 1988 he was a theatre director at Polish Radio, where he encouraged a broad circle of befriended writers and authors to work with him. One in particular K. I. Gałczyński, even composed a cantata for Nardelli – Kantata na otwarcie Rozgłośni Radia w Szczecinie – on the occasion of the opening of the broadcasting station in Szczecin (it has now fallen into oblivion). He worked with great passion and energy and often took unconventional paths. Nardelli was to become one of the most outstanding radio play directors. An elite of actors worked under him: these included Ludwik Solski, Irena Eichlerówna, Czesław Wołłejko, Edward Dziewoński, Andrzej Łapicki, Stanisława Perzanowska, Tadeusz Fijewski, Danuta Szaflarska, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz and Gustaw Holoubek. All in all he created ca. 1.500 radio plays including the much-loved Polish “classics” Dziady [Forefathers' Eve] by Adam Mickiewicz, Wesele [The Wedding] and Warszawianka [The Woman of Warsaw] by Stanisław Wyśpiański, and also works by younger authors like Helmut Kajzer from Cieszyn. In doing so he used new technical solutions, for example by linking stereophonics with quadraphonics and exploiting the recording capabilities of the Polish Radio experimental studio, headed by Józef Patkowski. Nardelli ended his career in radio with a production of Rzeźnia [The Slaughterhouse] by Stanisław Mrożek. Polish Radio is still broadcasting all these radio plays today. In addition Nardelli was invited by foreign radio stations to direct radio plays by Polish authors. These included Sender Freies Berlin (Panie – The Ladies – by I. Iredyński), Centro di Produzione di Milano (La Fuga by H. Bardijewski), RAI in Rome (Non omnis moriar by J. Przybora), SBB Baden-Baden (Herr Lonek ist gekommen by M. Tonecki, featuring the popular actor Rolf Henniger), whereupon the press reaction was as follows: “A well-known Polish citizen is once more staying within the walls of our town…”, not forgetting the broadcasting stations in Bratislava (Czapa – by J. Krasiński) and Oslo. He was a member of the jury for the international radio competition “Prix Italia” in Turin. Furthermore he represented Polish Radio abroad, amongst others in Vienna and at the Congress of Radio Creators in Frankfurt am Main, during which he clashed with representatives of the young German school who attacked traditional radio play forms.

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Mediathek
  • His debut as poet, Warsaw 1938. „Świt na nowo” [Daybreak Anew], tomik poezji [volume of poetry], editor, F. Hoesick. Warsaw 1938, and poem entitled “Wyjazd” [Departure].

    His debut as poet, Warsaw 1938

    „Świt na nowo” [Daybreak Anew], tomik poezji [volume of poetry], editor, F. Hoesick. Warsaw 1938, and poem entitled “Wyjazd” [Departure].
  • Stalag VIII C in Sagan. A reprint from the file in the Muzeum Obozów Jenieckich [POW Camp Museum]. Stalag VIII C. Stalag Luft 3, ed. by Muzeum Obozów Jenieckich, Żagań [Sagan] 2014.

    Stalag VIII C in Sagan

    A reprint from the file in the Muzeum Obozów Jenieckich [POW Camp Museum].
  • „Szopka Sagańska” [Sagan Nativity Play]. „Uwaga! Sagan wrze…” [Beware! Things are simmering in Sagan...] (Title page), A Nativity Play for the New Year, presented by Polish prisoners in Sagan (1939) and Görlitz (1940). Text by Zdzisław Nardelli. Drawings by Jan Świderski and Tadeusz Łakomski.

    „Szopka Sagańska” [Sagan Nativity Play]

    „Uwaga! Sagan wrze…” [Beware! Things are simmering in Sagan...] (Title page), A Nativity Play for the New Year, presented by Polish prisoners in Sagan (1939) and Görlitz (1940).
  • „Szopka Sagańska”. “Oczko we mgle…” [A Tiny Eye in the Fog], page with the censor’s triangular seal and the word “checked”, in Stalag VIII C in Sagan. Text, Zdzisław Nardelli. Drawings, Jan Świderski and Tadeusz Łakomski.

    „Szopka Sagańska”

    “Oczko we mgle…” [A Tiny Eye in the Fog], page with the censor’s triangular seal and the word “checked”, in Stalag VIII C in Sagan.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli, Caricature, 1939. A caricature of Zdzisław Nardellis in: “Szopka Sagańskiej” [Sagan Nativity Play], completed in Stalag VIII C in Sagan, winter 1939.

    Zdzisław Nardelli, Caricature, 1939

    A caricature of Zdzisław Nardellis in: “Szopka Sagańskiej” [Sagan Nativity Play], completed in Stalag VIII C in Sagan, winter 1939.
  • Stalag VIII A in Görlitz. A view of the barracks. (Série 4. Edit. Phototypia Légia, Liége).

    Stalag VIII A in Görlitz

    Stalag VIII A in Görlitz, a view of the barracks. (Série 4. Edit. Phototypia Légia, Liége).
  • Olivier Messiaen in soldier’s uniform, Metz 1939/40. Olivier Messiaen during a campaign in the east of France, Metz 1939/40.

    Olivier Messiaen in soldier’s uniform, Metz 1939/40

    Olivier Messiaen during a campaign in the east of France, Metz 1939/40.
  • “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening] in Görlitz, mid-December 1940. Cover of the programme of the Polish Evening, put together by Bohdan Samulski, Stalag VIII A in Görlitz, mid-December 1940.

    “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening] in Görlitz, mid-December 1940

    Cover of the programme of the Polish Evening, put together by Bohdan Samulski, Stalag VIII A in Görlitz, mid-December 1940.
  • “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening] in Görlitz, mid-December 1940. Cover of the programme of the Polish Evening, put together by Bohdan Samulski, Stalag VIII A in Görlitz, with the seal of the camp censor, “checked”, mid-December 1940.

    “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening] in Görlitz, mid-December 1940

    Cover of the programme of the Polish Evening, put together by Bohdan Samulski, Stalag VIII A in Görlitz, with the seal of the camp censor, “checked”, mid-December 1940.
  • Ensign Czesław Mętrak, a portrait by Bohdan Samulski, December 1940. Ensign Czesław Mętrak, co-promoter of “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening]. After fleeing from prison he succeeded in returning to Poland and served as a second lieutenant “Duch” in the Home Army. After the war he was a professor at the Warsaw University of Natural Sciences, and an engineer in the Department of Timber Technology.

    Ensign Czesław Mętrak, a portrait by Bohdan Samulski, December 1940

    Ensign Czesław Mętrak, co-promoter of “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening]. After fleeing from prison he succeeded in returning to Poland and served as a second lieutenant “Duch” in the Home Army.
  • Ensign Bohdan Samulski, 1941. Ensign Bohdan Samulski, co-promoter of “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening]. After fleeing from prison he became an officer in the 1. Tank Division of General Stanisław Maczek, and was awarded the order Virtuti Militari. After the war he became an outstanding architect in Belgium.

    Ensign Bohdan Samulski, 1941

    Co-promoter of “Wieczór polski” [Polish Evening]. After fleeing from prison he became an officer in the 1. Tank Division of General Stanisław Maczek, and was awarded the order Virtuti Militari.
  • Minutes of the Gestapo arrest. The minutes of the arrest and imprisonment of Zdzisław Nardelli by the Gestapo, from 6. June to 14. September 1944 in the prison in Brauweiler.

    Minutes of the Gestapo arrest

    The minutes of the arrest and imprisonment of Zdzisław Nardelli by the Gestapo, from 6. June to 14. September 1944 in the prison in Brauweiler.
  • Newsletter of the Polish Centre in Erfurt. A newsletter of the Polish Centre in Erfurt describing the work of Zdzisław Nardelli as the head of the Arts Office, May 1945.

    Newsletter of the Polish Centre in Erfurt

    A newsletter of the Polish Centre in Erfurt describing the work of Zdzisław Nardelli as the head of the Arts Office, May 1945.
  • The staff of the Arts Office in Erfurt. A list of the staff in the Arts Office. Zdzisław Nardelli took over as head in May 1945.

    The staff of the Arts Office in Erfurt

    A list of the staff in the Arts Office. Zdzisław Nardelli took over as head in May 1945.
  • The sole existing film roll. Zdzisław Nardelli in the film by Antoni Bohdziewicz “Za wami pójdą inni…” [Others will be following you], 1949.

    The sole existing film roll

    Zdzisław Nardelli in the film by Antoni Bohdziewicz “Za wami pójdą inni…” [Others will be following you], 1949.
  • Olivier Messiaen 1969. Portrait of Olivier Messiaens. Fot. Inghi, Paris.

    Olivier Messiaen 1969

    Portrait of Olivier Messiaens. Fot. Inghi, Paris.
  • Certificate of the International Red Cross, Geneva 1971. Certificate of the International Red Cross in Geneva, issued in 1971.

    Certificate of the International Red Cross, Geneva 1971

    Certificate of the International Red Cross in Geneva, issued in 1971.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli at Polish Radio.Zdzisław Nardelli by the wall of his office containing the autographs of the creative radio workers in the Polish Radio station in Warsaw.

    Zdzisław Nardelli at Polish Radio

    Zdzisław Nardelli by the wall of his office containing the autographs of the creative radio workers in the Polish Radio station in Warsaw.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli – Novelist, after leaving Polish Radio.

    Zdzisław Nardelli, Writer

    Zdzisław Nardelli – Novelist, after leaving Polish Radio.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli “Pasztet z ojczyzny” [A Pie from the Homeland], Wyd. “Śląsk”, Katowice 1986, okładka.

    Zdzisław Nardelli “Pasztet z ojczyzny” [A Pie from the Homeland]

    Zdzisław Nardelli “Pasztet z ojczyzny” [A Pie from the Homeland], Wyd. “Śląsk”, Katowice 1986, okładka.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli “Otchłań ptaków”, Verlag “Śląsk”, Katowice 1989, cover.

    Zdzisław Nardelli „Otchłań ptaków”

    Zdzisław Nardelli “Otchłań ptaków”, Verlag “Śląsk”, Katowice 1989, cover.
  • A dedication written by Zdzisław Nardelli for Jerzy Stankiewicz in a copy of “Otchłań ptaków” The Birds’ Hell], Warsaw, 27. March 2002.

    Dedication written Zdzisław Nardelli

    A dedication written by Zdzisław Nardelli for Jerzy Stankiewicz in a copy of “Otchłań ptaków” The Birds’ Hell], Warsaw, 27. March 2002.
  • Zdzisław Nardelli “Płaskorzeźby dyletanta” [The Bas-Relief of a Dilettante], Wyd. Radia i Telewizji [Radio and TV publisher], Warsaw 1988, cover by Zdzisław Nardelli.

    “Płaskorzeźby dyletanta” [The Bas-Relief of a Dilettante]

    Zdzisław Nardelli “Płaskorzeźby dyletanta” [The Bas-Relief of a Dilettante], Wyd. Radia i Telewizji [Radio and TV publisher], Warsaw 1988, cover by Zdzisław Nardelli.
  • Catacombs with the grave of Zdzisław Nardelli in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw.

    The catacombs of the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw

    Catacombs with the grave of Zdzisław Nardelli in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw.
  • Memorial plaque at the grave of Zdzisław Nardelli in the catacombs of the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw.

    Memorial plaque at the grave of Zdzisław Nardelli

    Memorial plaque at the grave of Zdzisław Nardelli in the catacombs of the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw.