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Biographical calendar of Ludwik Zamenhof

The most important dates in the life of Ludwik Zamenhof.

  • 1859 – December 15. Ludwik Zamenhof’s birth in Bialystok.
  • 1869 – beginning of education in the Junior High School in Bialystok.
  • 1873 – moving to Warsaw. Beginning of studies at the Philological Junior High School in Warsaw.
  • 1878 – presenting to schoolmates of the first project of the international language.
  • 1879 – completion of studies at the Philological Junior High School in Warsaw. Commencement of medical studies in Moscow.
  • 1881 – return to Warsaw. Continuing medical studies at the University of Warsaw.
  • 1885 – Completion of medical studies. Taking up first professional work in Veisiejai, Lithuania.
  • 1886 – ophthalmic practice in Warsaw and Vienna. Establishing a relationship with Klara Silbernik of Kaunas, future wife.
  • 1887 – July 26: thanks to the dowry from the future father-in-law Alexander Silbernik, publication of the first manual of the international language, signed by the author pseudonym – Dr Esperanto. August 9: marrying Klara Silbernik.


Zamenhof family, public domain   


  • 1888 – birth of a son, Adam. Publication of the first literary work in Esperanto (Pushkin's The Snow Storm translated by A. Grabowski). Birth of a daughter, Sophia. The emergence of the first Esperantists association in Nuremberg.
  • 1889 – launch of the magazine "La Esperantisto". Zamenhof's departure to work in Kherson, Ukraine.
  • 1890 – return to Warsaw.
  • 1893 – moving with the family to Grodno.
  • 1894 – publication of Zamenhof’s first Universala Vortaro dictionary.
  • 1895 – the tsarist censorship bans the distribution of the "La Esperantisto" in Russia, which results in the fall of the magazine and constitutes a great blow to the Esperanto movement. Launch of the “Lingvo Internacia” magazine in Uppsala.
  • 1897 – Zamenhof’s family return to Warsaw, where it settles for good.
  • 1901 – French publisher "Hachette" starts publishing a series of books in Esperanto and signs a contract with Zamenhof. Zamenhof publishes a brochure in Russian Hilelism – an attempt to resolve the Jewish question
  • 1904 – birth of Lidia, the youngest Zamenhofs’ daughter.


World's first Esperanto Congress in Boulogne-sur-Mer (France), 1905, public domain   


  • 1905 – world's first Esperanto Congress in Boulogne-sur-Mer (France). Zamenhof decorated with the French Order of the Legion of Honour.  Unsuccessful attempt to establish the Esperanto League on Zamenhof’s initiative. Appearance of Fundamento de Esperanto. Zamenhof definitely relinquishes the copyrights to Esperanto.
  • 1906 – publication of subsequent pamphlets in Russian and Esperanto on social, religious and national issues. The pogroms of the Jews in the Russian Empire. The first issue of "Pola Esperantisto" appears in Lviv.
  • 1907 – "Great Schism" in the Esperanto movement, due to the announcement of the Ido language.
  • 1908 – The establishment of the World Esperanto Association (Universala Esperanto-Asocio) on the initiative of a Swiss citizen Hector Hodler. Proclamation of the Esperanto state of Amikejo.
  • 1911 – the Zamenhof’s paper "Peoples and the International Language" is read at the First Universal Races Congress in London.
  • 1912 – during the 8th World Congress in Cracow, Zamenhof resigns publicly from official functions in the Esperanto Movement.
  • 1913 – “Declaration of Homaranism" – full public presentation of views.  Refusal to join the Jewish Esperanto League. The anti-Semitic attack at Zamenhof by the Pola Esperantisto.
  • 1915 – Letter to Diplomats "After the Great War".
  • 1917 – Humanitarianism. Last version.
  • 1917 – April 14, Ludwik Zamenhof dies in Warsaw.

Walter Żelazny


The Ludwik Zamenhof's gravestone in the Jewish cemetery in Okopowa St in Warsaw, 1937, NAC