Heinz Czechowski (1935–2009) was born in Dresden, and as a child experienced the fire-bombing of the city by the RAF in February 1945. After training and working as a commercial and technical artist, he studied at the Johannes R. Becher Literary Institute in Leipzig. Thereafter he worked in publishing and theatre, and as a freelance writer. Czechowski joined the German Democratic Republic’s ruling Socialist Unity Party in 1961, but resigned in 1978 following the expatriation of Wolf Biermann. After living for many years in Leipzig, and being actively engaged with the democratic changes in the GDR in 1989/90, he left the city in 1993 after disagreements with city institutions, living first in Italy before settling in western Germany, in the small town of Schöppingen near Münster. He published many collections of poetry and essays, as well as translations and adaptations of works by authors including Akhmatova, Wyspianski and Bulgakov.
From Ken Cockburn’s introduction in MPT 3/18 Transitions