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Zofia Kossak-Szczucka


Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, born in 1889 in Kośmina

“The slaughter of millions of innocent people comes amid widespread sinister silence. . . This silence can no longer be tolerated. . . Whoever is silent in the face of murder – becomes an accomplice to the murderer. Who does not condemn – condones.”

The writer debuted with the novel “Conflagration” and a description of peasant revolutionary sentiments and the Bolshevik War. In the interwar period she became involved in the mainstream of Catholic prose as her journalist work from the 1930s was filled with dislike of Jews and attempts to polarize an already tense ethnic relations in Poland. Since the beginning of the German occupation of Poland, she had been involved in conspiracy and charitable activities. Despite her religiously motivated anti-Semitism, in August 1942, in the face of the mass deportation of Warsaw Jews to Treblinka, she published her “Protest”.  A month later, she founded the Temporary Committee for the Assistance of Jews, later transformed into Żegota. She did not give in to further polarization and defined the German occupier as a common Polish-Jewish enemy. She publicly appealed to Poles not to succumb to polarization and not to put their hand up for the murder of Jews. From autumn 1943 she was a prisoner of Auschwitz. She was posthumously recognized as the Righteous Among the Nations.