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Krystyna Modrzewska (Mandelbaum)


Krystyna Modrzewska (Mandelbaum) born September 14, 1919 in Warsaw

In 1939, then 20-year-old Krystyna, daughter of a well-known Lublin doctor and socialite, came home for a holiday from Bologna where she studied anthropology. While studying, she was baptized and became Catholic. The outbreak of war and the introduction of the occupation prevented her from returning to college and Krystyna was forced with her mother to leave their house. To increase her chances of survival she changed her identity and name to Modrzewska. She took various jobs so that could have access to important information and documents, which in turn she passed on to Polish Army branches. This was her way of standing up to discrimination: in her service in the National Army (she was nicknamed “Mole”) in 1941-43, she conducted economic sabotage.