Jakubowska Maria

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Story of Rescue - Jakubowska Maria

Maria Mancewicz was born in a Siberian yurt [yurt – a nomads’ dwelling – editor’s note] as a child of political exiles. 

Soon before the outbreak of the October Revolution in 1917, she started her medical studies in the Faculty of Medicine at the Odessa University. She witnessed processions and chanting, and, with time, also hanging people on street lamps and other atrocities. In 1918, together with her family she returned to Warszawa and continued her studies. She served as a nurse during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1920.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Maria, whose last name at the time was already Jakubowska (the married name), worked in the Anti-Tuberculosis Clinic and was raising three children of her own and an orphaned daughter of her cousins. She was the only breadwinner for her family, as she lost contact with her mobilized husband Władysław for a few years.

She got involved in the underground movement and on behalf of the Home Army she ran a nurses’ assistant training. During the Warsaw Uprising she managed the hospital arranged on the premises of the “Nasz Dom” (“Our Home”) Orphanage. 

She kept Jews hidden in her house in the district of Bielany:
Mikołaj Steinberg, her friend’s brother, arrived in the winter of 1942. He was mentally ill, and due to stress and isolation, the symptoms intensified. He would open the window and shout: “I’m Jewish, take me away from here!” He returned to the ghetto after three months.

Donia Dziatełowska, a teacher in the Labor Society of Children’s Friends (Robotnicze Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Dzieci) kindergarten which was attended by Jakubowskis’ children; together with her son Rysiek, she stayed with Maria.

Hanka Dworakowska, a friend doctor, was hiding together with her son as well. Her parents, the Rosens, stayed with her until Maria helped them find lodgings in Młociny (a housing estate).

For three months, Maria took care of a teenager named Janina Prot.

A friend of her son Antek, Zbyszek Boniecki (assumed both the first and last name) spent a few days in their house.

Following the war, Maria Mancewicz-Jakubowska continued to work in the Anti-Tuberculosis Clinic. When she retired, she gave medical advice as a geriatrician. Those who were under her care at the time of occupation, dispersed all over the world.

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Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009