An Introduction to Przekrój An Introduction to Przekrój

An Introduction to Przekrój

Sylwia Niemczyk
time 13 minutes

Near the end of the Second World War, a magazine made of wit and levity was born; everyone in Poland read it. While the external factors may change over time, our inner vibe remains the same.

If this text had gotten into the hands of Marian Eile, this paragraph wouldn’t exist. The founder of Przekrój always cut out the introduction, with no mercy and no hesitation. He believed an article with no beginning was better, and usually he was right. On rare occasions the editors would secretly restore the deleted passage, keeping their fingers crossed that the boss wouldn’t notice. Even when he did, he let it go. The issue went to print, and, as nature abhors a vacuum, other texts were already waiting in line where “the great editor”—as his colleagues called him with both humor and admiration—could cut other things out. And that’s how it went, week after week, for the full twenty-four years and 1,277 issues of Przekrój.

It was 1945 when a spark of inspiration flashed anew over Poland. The war was dragging on and not all the survivors had yet returned from Nazi camps to their homes, but there was already a sense of hope in the air. Kraków—the second largest city in Poland—was more fortunate than Warsaw, which was tragically razed to the ground by the German Luftwaffe during the Warsaw uprising. Kraków was battered too, but most of the houses were still standing. There were places to live and work, which is why it became a post-war destination for Polish writers, artists, and intellectuals.

The first issue of the Przekrój weekly appeared in mid-April 1945. It was thin—only sixteen pages long—but included, among other things, a column by Czesław Miłosz—a Polish poet, and later, a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley as well as a Nobel Prize winner. Przekrój aimed high from the start, with literature by the best authors, humor of the highest order, articles on the most interesting topics.

“Lightly; the magazine should have a light touch,” was one of editor-in-chief Marian Eile’s many mottos. During these difficult post-war years, Przekrój pro


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Also read:

Przekrój: Our History At a Glance Przekrój: Our History At a Glance
Dreams and Visions

Przekrój: Our History At a Glance

About Przekrój

Przekrój is a quarterly publication for intellectual and spiritual seekers. It’s for those who like to dig deeper, preferring to reflect on universal questions over the rush of the latest news. Pronounced “p-SHEH-crooy,” it’s a thought-provoking art and culture magazine that focuses on the art of living—in an aware, creative, and fulfilled way. We structure every issue of Przekrój around several key themes. These include the big existential questions for humanity and society, as well as a spectrum of topics concerning wellbeing, culture, nature, and the environment. In each edition we also pick a particular region of the world, as well as a color, an animal or plant, and a unique phenomenon. The content on each and every page is carefully chosen so that the whole quarterly unfolds as a connected, fascinating journey. We offer readers insightful essays, expert interviews, and inspirational stories; fiction and poetry; visual art, cartoons, and humorous short form writing, plus a timeless and remarkable graphic design.

Our History

Przekrój is the oldest Polish magazine about culture and society—operating since 1945 and valued by millions of readers. At its height, weekly circulation reached 700,000 copies. Many creatives sought to work with the magazine and its contributors counted the country’s leading writers (Wisława Szymborska, Stanisław Lem) and illustrators (Daniel Mróz, Bohdan Butenko) among them.

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