Poland bade farewell to Sławomir Mrożek
September 18, 2013
One of the most prominent 20th-century Polish playwrights, internationally renowned Sławomir Mrożek, who died on August 15 in Nice, southern France at the age of 83, was buried in a state ceremony in the southern historic city of Cracow on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people waited in a line to sign a condolence book put out in Cracow's barbican next to a metal urn with the writer’s ashes
Later, a hearse drawn by two black horses took the urn to its resting place - a national pantheon beneath St. Peter and Paul church in Cracow.
The funeral Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Cracow Stanislaw Dziwisz, who once was personal secretary of the late Pope John Paul II.
Mrożek, considered by many to be one of Poland's greatest writers for the stage was also a prose writer and satirical cartoonist. He was enthusiastic about communism as a young man but later in life satirized it with a passion, highlighting the absurd aspects of life under a totalitarian system.
One of his most famous and internationally-recognized works is "Tango", a 1964 play about totalitarianism written in the style of the theater of the absurd.
Mrozek emigrated from Poland in 1963 and lived in the United States, Germany, Italy and Mexico. He returned to Poland in 1996. After suffering a stroke in 2002, Mrozek again left Poland in 2008 and settled in France, where he lived with his wife.
President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded Mrożek posthumously the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of the country's highest honors, in recognition of his contribution to Polish culture.