Józef Wittlin was born in Dmytrów (now Dmytriv, Ukraine) in 1896. Because of his mother’s illness, the family moved to Lviv (Lwów). He attended the local gymnasium school and published his first poem in the local newspaper. In August 1914, he joined the volunteer military formation of the Polish Legion.The Poles refused to take the oath to the Austrian Empire so the unit was disbanded. Wittlin then went to Vienna where he studied philosophy. He joined the Austrian army with his friend Joseph Roth. He fell ill with scarlet fever, so never served on the front line, but did work as translator. He also worked on a translation of The Odyssey into Polish.
After the war, he returned to Lviv, where he worked as a teacher and continued his studies. In 1922 he moved to Łódź, where he worked as a manager of the Municipal Theatre. In 1927 he moved to Warsaw with his wife, where he was associated with the Skamander Group. He then moved to France and later to Paris. After the Nazi invasion, he and his family went South and then to Portugal, and, finally to the United States. They lived in New York, till his death in 1976.
1920 Hymny (poetry)
1925 Wojna pokój i dusza poety (essays)
1929 Ze wspomnień byłego pacyfisty (memoirs)
1933 Etapy (travel)
1935 Sól ziemi (The Salt of the Earth)
1946 Mój Lwów (City of Lions) (memoirs)
1963 Orfeusz w piekle XX wieku (essays)
1978 Poezje (poetry)
1996 Walka o sławę: korespondencja. Witold Gombrowicz, Józef Wittlin, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Artur Sandauer (letters)