Dobrowolska Anna

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Story of Rescue - Dobrowolska Anna

Before the war Anna Dobrowolska lived in Krakow at Wielopole Street. She was a teacher and activist of the Democratic Party. During the occupation she worked in the structures of the Polish Underground State under the pseudonym "Michalska". She served as treasurer of the Council to Aid Jews "Żegota" in Krakow, founded on 12 March 1943.

According to Teresa Prekerowa, the Council to Aid Jews in Krakow "was a small organization and received small financial subsidies, much smaller than the needs. However, its team, very committed to the cause and the energetic and enterprising chairman soon turned it into a significant aid centre."

"Żegota" tried to help the Jews who were in the camps in Płaszów, Bochnia, Mielec, Przemyśl, Stalowa Wola, Szabniach and Tarnów and other labour camps in the district. Its activists provided money, food and documents allowing Jews to hide on the so-called Aryan side. "Żegota" was also determined to counter blackmail and German anti-Semitic propaganda, rescue Jewish children, collect materials about the crimes against Jews.

"Żegota" couriers met in Dobrowolska’s apartment  and received money, which was divided between the hiding Jews. Maria Hochberg-Mariańska, who  was a representative of the Jewish underground movement in the Krakow "Żegota", noted in her memoirs: "To this day I remember the dark gate of the house, the trodden stairs and the tall, slim figure of Ms. Anna, her good eyes hidden behind glasses and the treasury books of the Board, which she conducted carefully and meticulously, as if they were not dangerous documents, but innocent lists of pre-war social welfare." 

Dobrowolska also held classes for Jewish children. Initially, 100 people used the help of the Board, and in 1944-570 people hiding in Krakow.

In 1984 Yad Vashem decided to grant Anna Dobrowolska the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Bibliography

  • Bartoszewski Władysław, Lewinówna Zofia, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, Warszawa 2007
    This publication consists of 3 parts: monographic outline of the issue of aid given to the Jews; collection of German and Polish documents concerning the histories of Jews and the aid given to them; collection of the post-war reports created by Poles and Jews about the aid.
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2033