Photo album commemorates Czesław Niemien’s 80th birthday

A photo album containing archival pictures of Czesław Niemien, iconic singer and songwriter of the 1960s and 70s, was presented at the Book Fair in Minsk, Belarus.

Legendary Niemen not drowned-out by mortal silence

This year alone, seven thousand people visited Czesław Niemen’s Museum in the now Belarusian town of Staryya Vasilishki in western Belarus, marking...

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Czesław Niemen’s 80th birthday anniversary falls on February 16.

The album “is a way of honouring the artist but also an attempt to save the memory of him,” said Wiera Sawina, co-author of the publication. The Polish Institute in Minsk made the publication possible.

Photographs chosen for the album depict Czesław Niemen’s life on today’s Belarusian soil which was a part of Poland at the time of the artist’s birth in 1939. In the aftermath of WWII, the territory became part of the Belarusian Soviet Republic in 1945. Niemen’s family moved to Poland in 1958

Despite his great fame in Poland, in Belarus “Niemen is hardly heard of, even though he was born in the territory of today’s Belarus” said Wital Rawicz, author of the photographs. “That is why we may call him a fellow citizen, although he obviously is a great Pole.”

To help spread knowledge of him, a museum dedicated to Niemien was established at the house of his birth, in the village of Staryya Vasilishki, in 2009.

“He spent 19 years here before leaving. This is enough to be inscribed in the memory of the people here,” said the head of the Czesław Niemen Museum, Uładzimir Sieniuta. “Thanks to him, Staryya Vasilishki is known all around the globe.”

Czesław Niemen, born Czesław Juliusz Niemen-Wydrzycki, was a Polish singer and songwriter. His most famous songs include “Pod Papugami” (“Under the parrots”), “Sen o Warszawie” (“A dream about Warsaw”) and “Dziwny jest ten świat” (“Strange is the world”). The latter is widely considered one of the most important songs written during the Communist era and still remains an iconic generational anthem.

Czesław Niemen died of cancer on January 17, 2004 in Warsaw. His remains were cremated and placed in Warsaw Powązki Cemetery.