Sygnały Magazine

The Sygnały magazine ("Sygnały. Misięcznik. Sprawy Społeczne Literatura Sztuka") had been published in Lviv from November, 1933 until September, 1934, and later from February, 1936 until August, 1939, with the total of 75 issues. Over that period, the magazine had grown to all-national scale. Initially, the magazine was headed by Tadeusz Hollender; in 1936, Karol Kuryluk stepped in. The editorial board included also Galina Górska, Anna Kowalska, and Tadeusz Banasz.


The publication came out under the conditions of another aggravation of Polish-Ukrainian relations. That is why lots of materials were on Ukrainian topics. Sygnały was based on democratic attitudes. Despite a noticeable leftist position, the magazine was oriented on open an dialogue and polemics of authors with different opinions. It was a popular periodical with no specific fixed staff, or any unified system of attitudes. According to the "Address to the Reader" published in its first issue, the magazine policy was confined to the position that the authors and columnists did not belong either to left or right sides but it only sufficed to them to stay human beings. The Sygnały accepted texts from young local authors, such as Debora Vogel, Erwin Aksler, and Jerzy Lec. It published translations from Ukrainian, Belarus, Russian, and Yiddish. Publications by Vogel must have recorded the prewar works by Antonina Richter, member of the Jewish art group Ster. They are preserved only in the form of replicas in the pages of the magazine. The texts offer some exclusive data on the development of secular Jewish art in East Galicia. The editorial board maintained contacts with Paris and Berlin. Authors were writing reviews on printed editions, on theater productions and music performances. They favored Avant-Garde painters and photographers. Some well-known artists and cartoonists worked with the magazine. The magazine also promoted European art. There were some special issues on Ukrainian, Jewish and Belarus cultures. A Lviv-dedicated issue was also available.

During the whole period of publishing the magazine, 22 articles were confiscated by censors. Reports on court proceedings had been published multiple times. In 1934, the publication was put on hold. In 1938, a militant group of the National Radical Camp (Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny) attacked the editors office. As the war was approaching, financial position of the magazine got worse as it depended on advertising, sales and private contributions. In August, 1939, the magazine ceased to operate.

Sygnały and Literature

The magazine mostly published short poems. All texts were given in Polish translations of Hollender, Aleksander Baumgarten, Zdzisław Kunstman, a.o. The prose was published quite seldom. The editorial board followed the annual contest of Ukrainian Union of Writers and Journalists and published the awarded works. The political instability of the time shows through the critical materials. The most burning issue discussed is about dichotomy of Ukrainian culture within Poland and Soviet Ukraine. The Sygnały magazine was shaping Polish opinions on contemporary Ukrainian (including the Soviet occupied one), Jewish, Belarus, Russian, and Lithuanian literatures and cultures, while following relevant art developments.


The editors office of the magazine changed their address almost every year. Since 1933, they had been at ul. Zielona, 7; in 1934 — ul. Krasickich, 18a (presently — vul. Ohiyenka); in 1936 — ul. Rutowskiego, 9 (presently — vul. Teatralna); from 1937 until 1939 — ul. Hauke-Bossaka, 12 (presently — vul. Tiutiunnykiv).



1. Світлана Кравченко, Періодичні видання Польщі 20–30-х років XX століття у світлі суспільно-культурних процесів міжвоєнної доби : літературна комунікація, польсько-український діалог (Луцьк, 2009).
2. Євген Мишлінський, "Історія і література у дзеркалі преси", Слово і час, 1997, № 9, 16–17.
3. Jerzy Jarowiecki, Czasopisma literackie i społeczno-kulturalne we Lwowie w latach 1918–1939, Rocznik Historii Prasy Polskiej, 2008, zesz. 1/2, 16–34.
4. Ivan Łoziński, Rola "Sygnałów" w internacjonalistycznej konsolidacji inteligencji twórczej, Polonistyka radziecka (Warszawa, 1985), 528–539.5. Богдана Пінчевська, "Світське єврейське мистецтво Східної Галичини першої третини ХХ століття: Людвік Лілле й Дебора Фоґель", Judaika Ukrainika, 2014, № 3, 128–139.

By Olha Belyavtseva
Translated by Svitlana Brehman

Остап Тарнавський, Літературний Львів, 1939-1944: спомини (Львів, 1995), с. 63
Tadeusz Hollender, who was closely linked to Lviv (worked for many years as a co-editor of the progressive literary journal "Sygnały" [Sygnals]), preferred to move to the German occupied Warsaw, despite his leftist beliefs. There, after his arrest, he died in Warsaw jail "Na Pawiąku" in 1943.
Aleksander Wat. Mój wiek: Pamiętnik mówiony (Warszawa 1990), s. 280
Halina Górska was a sentimental socialist, a pure soul, terribly elegiac; everything pained her, every act of injustice in the world. Ola and I became friendly with her in Lwów and we were at her house fairly often. A very pure home, pure people. And that was her misfortune because, since she had the reputation of being a pure, highly moral, and decent person, she was, of course, chosen to be a candidate. And I remember perfectly—Ola and I were there at the time—she did not want to accept the candidacy. Her husband, who had no connection to communism, a very decent man—he and everyone else begged her not to refuse. It would have been madness; a great wave of arrests had already begun. So we tried to influence her not to be headstrong, not to make any quixotic gestures. That this was bad advice is another story. Had she refused, they probably wouldn’t have done anything to her, especially since she was in a situation like the ones I was often in: you yield once and then you’re on a slippery path, an inclined plane. And then you make a countermove, a move much more dangerous than the original situation would have been, if you hadn’t taken that first step. Because it was at that meeting of the National Assembly (the sessions were held in the Great Theater’s large hall)—I was in the gallery, I had a ticket—that Górska was the only person who abstained from voting on the incorporation of the Western Ukraine [into the Soviet Union], and that was undoubtedly a much riskier step than accepting the candidacy in the first place.
As secretary of the Communisty party of the Ukraine, Khrushchev was present during the voting.