Bydgoszcz remembers writer J.D. Salinger
PR dla Zagranicy
A commemorative plaque to the famous American writer J.D.Salinger has been unveiled in the town of Bydgoszcz, north-cental Poland, at the walls of a former slaughterhouse.
The plaque’s text, in Polish, English and German, reads:
At the end of the year 1937, this complex of buildings belonging to the municipal slaughterhouse of Bydgoszcz was the workplace of the eminent American writer Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010), the author of the famous novel ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and numerous collections of stories.
The plaque also reminds readers that the historical slaughterhouse and modern buildings are now occupied by a shopping and entertainment centre in the city.
Salinger hailed from a Jewish family which emigrated from Lithuania to the United States. In the autumn of 1936, Jerome’s father, a successful enterpreneur, urged the future writer to learn about the meat-importing business.
Salinger first worked at a company in Vienna and, having left Austria shortly before it was annexed by Nazi Germany, he moved to Bydgoszcz, where he worked as an apprentice thanks to his father’s long-standing contacts with Oskar Robinson, a producer of bacon in nearby Nakło.
According to Grzegorz Musiał, a Bydgoszcz-based writer who did extensive research into this chapter of Salinger’s biography, while in Bydgoszcz the teenage Salinger was taken care of by the widow of Robinson, who had died before his arrival to the town.
Some years later, Salinger recalled his time in Poland in these words: “They finally dragged me off to Bydgoszcz for a couple of months, where I slaughtered pigs and carted them through the snow with the big slaughtermaster.” (mk/jb)