Schulz was born in 1892 in Drohobycz (now Drogobych, Ukraine), a small town in Galicia. Schulz studied architecture at Lvov University and fine arts in Vienna, specializing in lithography and drawing. After returning to his native town, he worked from 1924 to 1939 as an art teacher in the local gymnasium. In the 1930s, Schulz's reviews appeared in literary magazines. In 1938 Schulz was awarded the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature. Between 1939 and 1941 Schulz lived in the Soviet-occupied territory, but when Germany attacked the U.S.S.R., Drohobycz was occupied by the Nazis. A Gestapo officer, Felix Landau, liked Schulz's drawings, arranged him a pass out of the ghetto, and commissioned him to paint frescoes in his house. Landau killed a Jewish dentist who was protected by another Gestapo officer, Karl Günther. In the "Aryan" quarter Schulz was spotted by him, and shot in retaliation, on the street in November 19, 1942. His world reputation came years after his death, when his stories began to appear in English. To many literary critics, Schulz is one of Poland's greatest short story writers, often referred to as
"the Polish Kafka."