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Stefania Wilczyńska (Stefa)


Stefania Wilczyńska, born in 1886 in Warsaw.

In 1909, Stefania, then 23 years old, returned to Warsaw from France and took a job in a children’s home on Franciscan Street, which was run by the Association “Help for Orphans”. Already in 1912 she became the manager of the newly opened house for Jewish children at Krochmalny Street 92. For the next 30 years, together with Janusz Korczak, she co-created the house and took care of the children.

Throughout the 1930s she visited Palestine many times and in 1938 began working with children in the kibbutz Ein Charod. In the same year, she received permission to settle in Palestine. However, upon hearing the disturbing information coming from Warsaw about the impending war, she returned to Poland on May 2, 1939.

She took care of the children during the bombing of Warsaw, leading a first-aid dressing room in the basements of the Orphan’s House. She survived two forced relocations of the Orphan’s House within the  borders of the Warsaw ghetto, which was established in 1940. On August 5 or 6, 1942, the German Nazis forced the children and staff of the Orphan’s House to march through the ghetto, from its southern borders  and Umschlagplatz, to a railway deportation point in the north, headed to Treblinka extermination camp.

Stefania Wilczyńska was murdered with the children of the Orphan’’s House in Treblinka and does not have a grave or monument. The fact that she existed and died is noted on the grave of her parents in the Warsaw  Jewish cemetery on Okopowa Street.