Getter Matylda

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Story of Rescue - Getter Matylda

“I’m saving a human being who’s asking for help,” Mother Matylda Getter would say on her rescuing Jewish children from the Holocaust. As the superior of the Warsaw Province of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, she took on the responsibility of obtaining birth certificates for the children and hiding them in the order’s educational institutions. She was 70 at the time.

Before the war she received a number of the highest national distinctions in honor of her achievements in her educational work. She had founded over twenty education and care facilities in Anin, Białołęka, Chotomów, Międzylesie, Płudy, Sejny, and Vilnius, among others.

During the war the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, “in the spirit of Christian love and Franciscan joy,” brought aid to those in need, both civilians and members of the underground: arranged work for them and granted them shelter. In the provincial house at Hoża St. 53 in Warsaw, the sisters ran a paramedical station and a soup kitchen, turned into a hospital during the Warsaw Uprising.

This was also where they would take in the children brought out of the ghetto. Risking their own lives, they were hiding the children at their educational institutions, explaining these actions with the words “you could not refuse to help children facing certain death.” 

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