Born 15 March 1917 in Tomsk, to which his family was evacuated as a result of continuing military action. After the I World War, he returned to Białystok with his family, where he spent his childhood and where he was educated. He received a thorough musical education. Before the outbreak of the II World War, Gutkiewicz enrolled at the Stefan Batory University in Wilno [Vilnius] on a course in theology. When the Soviets invaded, he was conscripted into the Red Army, where he remained until June 1941. During the German occupation, of his own free will he moved to the territory of the Third Reich, where he worked as an electrician. During the second Soviet invasion, he was deported to labour camps in the USSR. He was given a ten-year sentence which he spent, among others, in a labour camp in Pechora. In the labour camps he managed to join an artistic group and played the violin in concerts given to inmates of various camps. He was also an assistant orderly to the camp doctor. Whilst in the gulag he met his future wife, who was in charge of the camp pharmacy. Following his release, they married and he settled down in the USSR. He currently lives with his wife in Tomsk.