Gniazdowski Włodzimierz

He was born on the 21st March 1906, in Rakowo. He was a teacher, social activist, and founder of theatres. Teatr Impresaryjny in Włocławek was named in honour of Włodzimierz Gniazdowski (full name: Teatr Impresaryjny im. Włodzimierza Gniazdowskiego).

He lived his childhood and adolescent years in exile, in Soviet Russia. He passed his high school leaving exam in 1925, in then independent Poland. After that, he decided to study humanities at the university in Poznań. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was taken prisoner by the German Army, following the lost Battle of the Bzura in 1939. He was kept imprisoned at the war camp (‘oflag’ in German) Osterode XI and II-C Woldenburg, where he initiated some theatre activities.

After the end of the Second World War, he and his family settled in Włocławek. He became one of the teachers who took it upon themselves to re-establish the so-called Gimnazjum Ziemi Kujawskiej (a Grammar School), which is now known as Liceum Ziemi Kujawskiej (a Secondary School). In 1946, Włodzimierz Gniazdowski founded Amatorski Teatr Szkolny (an Amateur School Theatre), and then established and run a poetry club at a secondary school, in the years 1953-1964. In 1953, he became a director of Teatr Ludzi Upartych, which is a theatre group operating as part of Teatr Impresaryjny in Włocławek. In 1963, he assumed the position of a Polish teacher at Państwowe Liceum im. Marii Konopnickiej (a State Secondary School). There, he founded the so-called Młodzieżowa Estrada Poetycka (on-stage poetry performances for young school students) and was also a head of Szkolny Teatr Poezji (a School Poetry Theatre), the latter of which performed stage plays in Poland and foreign countries.

Włodzimierz Gniazdowski died on 21st March 1980, in Włocławek. He was buried at the local Municipal Cemetery.

To honour him, his name was given to Teatr Impresaryjny in Włocławek. In 2016, a commemorative stone was unveiled by the house on ul. Wojska Polskiego 4, where Włodzimierz Gniazdowski once lived.