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,,Zelma", ,,Sulica", ,,Zo"There have been many great names and great heroes in the history of Poland. Almost all Poles and many foreigners have heard of Kościuszko, Pułaski, Sikorski, Anders or Emilia Plater, but there are only few knowing two other women who deserve to be listed among these memorable persons - Maria Wittek and Elżbieta Zawacka, Polish Army generals.
Elżbieta Zawacka, professor and general, was born in Toruń at the turn of the 20th century from Marianna and Władysław, a judiciary clerk. For her first eleven years she had spoken only German, what later made her able to act and live through the years of the World War II, when she became one of the best couriers of the Foreign Communication Department of the Home Army High Command and the Home Army Commander's in Chief emissary from Poland to the Bureau of the Polish Commander in Chief in London. In the World War II Zawacka, under false names, crossed boundaries of European countries nearly hundred times transporting underground messages, money and men. She was the one who arranged Jan Nowak-Jeziorański's (later the head of the Polish section of the Radio Free Europe) transfer to Switzerland. She organized resistance networks in Silesia and took a part in the Warsaw Uprising.
Although educated mathematician and pedagogue, she was passionate about history. In the times of the People's Republic of Poland she got arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. Oppressed by Polish authorities, Zawacka retired from the Nicolaus Copernicus University earlier to deal with commemorating the service of her male and female friends - Home Army soldiers. She Is a cofounder of the World Association of Home Army Ex-Service-men, Gen. Grot-Rowecki Archive and Museum Foundation in Warsaw and Foundation ,,Pomerelian Archive of the Home Army" in Toruń. In 1995 she was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle and 11 years later she was promoted to general rank. Her life is as uncommon as she is herself - strong and intransigent, because ,,the matter", the matter of Poland, is the most important.
Translation: Michał Targowski
tekst z: ,,Elżbieta Zawacka'' Katarzyna Minczykowska
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