Vale Anna Koźmińska (1919–2021), the World's Righteous Among the Nations

Mateusz Szczepaniak / English Translation: Andrew Rajcher, 29th March 2021
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Anna Koźmińska (1919–2021), the world's oldest Righteous Among the Nations (1991) and honoured by the President of Poland with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polska Restituta (2016). She passed 24th March 2021, at the age of almost 102. She will remain in our memory as a noble, courageous person, who was extremely modest and kind. In farewelling her, we recall the story of Anna and her stepmother, Maria Koźmińska ( née Hoffman). During the Holocaust, in Częstochowa, the Koźmiński ladies helped Abraham Jabloński, an eight-year-old Jewish boy..

"I told my friends that the child [Abraham Jabłoński - ed.] is with us temporarily, that he experienced a family tragedy with his father dying and that his mother would come soon to collect him. That calmed down those around us and, in any case, they had their own troubles. [...] We surrounded him with […] with heartfelt care, providing him with a home and caring for him, […] with heart, so that the child would not feel like a stranged”, Anna Koźmińska recalls.

During the German occupation, Anna Koźmińska, known as "Hanka", together with her stepmother Maria Koźmińska (nee Hoffman), helped Jews in Częstochowa.

In autumn 1942, the Koźmiński ladies took care of eight-year-old Abraham Jabłoński, a Jewish boy who had escaped from the Częstochowa ghetto with the help of his own family and of Polish friends. Despite his "bad appearance", he went about quite openly outside the ghetto and was even supposed to serve as an altar boy in the Paulist monastery on Jasna Góra. He hid with the Koźmiński ladies until January 1945.

In recognition of the help provided to him, on 11th February 1991, Maria and Anna Koźmiński were honoured by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem with the title of Righteous Among the Nations. In 2016, the President of Poland honoured Anna with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

In February 2020, we visited Anna Koźmińska in her home in Warsaw. During our long conversation, she told us her story, which enabled us to publish, on this website, a new, extended story about Abraham Jabłdziała nam swoją historię, co pozwoliło opublikować na portalu Polscy Sprawiedliwi nowe poszerzone opracowanie historii ocalenia Abrahama Jabłoński;s story, marking the occasion of Anna Koźmińska's 101st birthday.

» Read: the Story of Maria and Anna Koźmiński

Anna Koźmińska passed away on 24th March 2021, on the National Day of Remembrance of Poles Saving Jews Under German Occupation. She was almost 102 years old. She was the world's oldest Righteous Among the Nations. Her final farewell will take place at the church of St. Karol Boromeusz in Stare Powązki in Warsaw, on 30th March 2021, at 2:00pm. Following the funeral service, the deceased will be interred in the family grave in Powązkowski Cemetery.

We express our sincerest condolences to those close to Anna Koźmińskia. She will remain, in our memory, as a noble and courageous person, who was extremely modest and kind.