Seroszevsky Waclaw (1858–1945) – Russian and Polish ethnographer, writer, Polish insurgent.
He was born in Poland, in a gentry family with a modest income; soon the property was confiscated after the suppression of the Polish rebellion of 1863 by Russian authorities. After the gymnasium, he studied at the professional school and got a qualification of Mechanic.
In 1870-s, he participated in the workers’ movement, was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment, but instead he was sent to hard labour camp in Siberia for 12 years (1880-1892). Twice he tried to escape, but failed. In the Kolyma Region he worked as a smith and cultivated land. There he was interested in the life of local population and started to describe habits and culture of Yakuts. He wrote novelettes and short stories about Siberia in Polish (Russian translations were published in such magazines as ‘Russkoe bogatstvo’, ‘Nachalo’, ‘Mir bozhii’, and ‘Zhizn’ since 1890-s. In 1896, in St. Petersburg, they published in Russian his book ‘Yakuts: An Attempt of Ethnographical Research’. In 1892, he got a permission to settle in Irkutsk; in 1894 – moved to St. Petersburg; and in 1898 – returned to Warsaw. In the late 1890-s, he participated in expeditions to the Caucasus.
In 1901-1902, his articles on the culture of Yakuts, including those on Shamanism, were published in British and French anthropological magazines.
In 1903, together with Bronisław Piłsudski, he was in the expedition to the island of Hokkaido organized by the Russian Geographical Society to study Ainu. Later, he travelled in Korea, China, Ceylon, Egypt, and Italy. His travels to the Far East S. described in his book ‘Korea: Key to the Far East’ (Korea: Klucz Dalekiego Wschodu, 1905).
In 1905-1907, he was actively involved into political activity, arrested, and sent to the military trial. He escaped and went to the emigration to France. During the WWI, he fought in the Polish Legion of Jozeph Piłsudski.
In 1933-1939, he was President of the Polish Academy of Literature. In 1935-1936, he was a member of the Polish Senate.
He died because of pneumonia in April 1945. His grave is at the Warsaw cemetery Stare Powązki.
In Yakutsk, there is a special monument to S., discoverer of Yakutia, in the memorial for Polish victims of Exiles of the Seventeenth – Nineteenth Centuries, and Mass Repressions of the Twentieth Century (opened on February 9, 2001).