Anna Bando's 95th Birthday

Redakcja, 23 February 2024
Anna Bando née Stupnicka was born on 23rd February 1929. She is President of the Polish Association of the Righteous, having been honoured with the title 1984. She was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland. On her 95th birthday, we extend to her our best wishes. To mark the event, we recall the story of her and her mother's aid provided to Jews, prepared by Teresa Torańska, an outstanding journalist writer and reporter. We also recall her biographical interview recorded, in 2014, at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which we recently published, in full, for the first times.

"One day, my mother said, 'You will take the Jewish girl out of the ghetto'. It was Liliana Alter. Her father cried when they said goodbye. I knew that they would never meets again"- Anna Bando.

"I remember being struck by such a strange, distinctive smell. It kept getting stronger. It was not the smell connected with the uprising - burnt bodies, for example. But it was a smell from the ghetto.

"They were terrible sights - those children - it was horrible. There were beggars on the streets. There were corpses, corpses - covered with paper or newspapers. I remember how people collected those who had died on street - using two-wheeled carts.

"I remember everything.

"A few years ago, I entered the yard off the street, just as you leave the station in the city centre. And, after so many years, I sensed the smell of the ghetto in that yard.”

Anna Bando was twelve-years-old when, with her mother, Janina Stupnicka, she first entered the Warsaw Ghetto. In her schoolbag, she smuggled in bread and marmalade for imprisoned Jewish families. In their apartment in Żoliborz were hidden Liliana Alter, Mikołaj Borenstein as well as Ryszard Grynberg. W 1983, in recognition of that help, Janina and Anna Stupnicka were honoured by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem with the title of Righteous Among the Nations

Since 2014, Anna Bando has served as President of the Polish Association of the Righteous. In 2008, she was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In 2017, she received the "Pro Patria” Medal, awarded by the head of the Office of Veterans and Victims of Oppression and, in 2018, the "Pro Bono Poloniae” Medal, awarded by that same office, marking the centenary of Poland regaining its independence. In 2019, on her 90th birthday, she received the personal best wishes of the Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Anna Bando's Story

On her 95th birthday, Anny Bando we recall her story of aid, prepared from, among others, oral history interviews, which she twice gave to the POLIN Museum (the last interview in 2014, which appears below).

Read: The Story of Janina Stupnicka and her Daughter Anna Bando

Anna Bando is a frequent visitor to the POLIN Museum. She is always interested in POLIN's program, it current issues and its plans for the future. For us, an unforgettable event was the gala, which took place on 16th October 2016, marking 30th anniversary of the Polish Association of the Righteous. It was the first ever meeting of Righteous from all over Poland.

Over several years, the POLIN Museum's collection has included a historical artifact from the period of German occupation, donated by Anna Bando. It is a tablecloth (see the photo gallery at the top of the page), which her mother had received from one of the Jewish families imprisoned in the ghetto. It served as a token of gratitude for the help which had been extended:

"One day, my mother brought a tablecloth from the ghetto. She said that she had received it from them. It was probably a table cloth used in Friday, during Shabat."


"When they kicked us out on 3rd October, after the end of the Warsaw Uprising, instead of taking one more blaanket - because we didn't know what would happen us and so everyone grabbed what was most important - my mother took that tablecloth.

"I don't know if she thought that this tablecloth would bring her good luck. Perhaps she thought we could exchange this table cloth for bread when we were hungry.

"And this tablecloth survived - even if you could take it to the country and exchange it for a tasty sausage which the peasants had prepared for the holidays.

"She never exchanged it.

"And this tablecloth came back with us to Warsaw. Perhaps we may have used it once - for a name day in 1946. 

"Just that one time."


"After the war, we lived in Międzylesie. I resumed my medical studies. There was a fire in our house. Most of our things were burnt, but that tablecloth survived - it didn't even smell of smoke. It was as though it had been hidden away.

"That is how that tablecloth survived.

"Later, my husband said that this tablecloth was actually metaphysical."


"Everyone perished. I don't remember their names. Was it the Śledz family? His name was Śledź - the father of that family.”

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