Jadwiga Długoborska and Lucyna Radziejowska were killed by the Germans for sheltering Jews. The Pilecki Institute introduced their stories to the world by commemorating them within the framework of the “Called by Name” project.
Memorial plaques in honor of the two heroic Polish women were unveiled in Ostrów Mazowiecka on Saturday, 29 June 2019, on the 75th anniversary of the death of Jadwiga Długoborska.
The ceremony began at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Holy Mass co-celebrated by Bishop Tadeusz Bronakowski. The plaques commemorating Jadwiga Długoborska and Lucyna Radziejowska were then unveiled in the park in front of Tadeusz Kościuszko Elementary School no. 1. Guests of honor included family members: relatives of Jadwiga Długoborska and Lucyna Radziejowska, including the latter’s daughter, Anna Danuta Radwańska, who witnessed her mother’s arrest at the age of 12.
A letter from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was read out to those attending the ceremony by the Minister of Digital Affairs, Marek Zagórski. The prime minister emphasized that assistance to Jews during the German occupation is one of the most difficult chapters of Polish history.
“Today we give special emphasis to the significance of the deeds of quiet local heroes whose heroic stance towards the Holocaust testifies to the heroism of local communities,” wrote Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, likening those being commemorated to the Ulma family, Irena Sendler, Jan Karski, and Witold Pilecki. He added that although they were aware of the death penalty, Jadwiga Długoborska and Lucyna Radziejowska provided shelter to Jews, while their death was “the price they paid for an act of human solidarity.”
In her speech, Prof. Magdalena Gawin, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, underlined that Jadwiga Długoborska and Lucyna Radziejowska were members of the Home Army. Minister Gawin also thanked the families of the murdered women for the heroism shown by their loved ones.
Barbara Szatyłowicz spoke on behalf of the families of those being commemorated, pointing out that it was exactly 75 years ago that Jadwiga Długoborska was murdered.
“Our whole lives have been filled with memories of Jadwiga. Of her activity before the war: in addition to running the family estate she was also involved in all manner of charitable work in Ostrów. And that continued until the occupation,” Barbara Szatyłowicz remembered. “She was murdered two months before the Germans left Ostrów. It was a family tragedy. People said of her that she was someone to whom human life mattered beyond all measure. Let us remember Jadwiga Długoborska and pass on her story!”
The ceremony was attended i.a., by the Minister of Digital Affairs Marek Zagórski (representing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki); Prof. Magdalena Gawin, Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage; Anna Gutkowska, Deputy Director of the Pilecki Institute; Jerzy Bauer, Mayor of Ostrów Mazowiecka, and representatives of the families of those being commemorated and of Witold Pilecki along with numerous members of the Ostrów Mazowiecka community: schools, scouts, the fire service, associations as well as lay and religious organizations along with standard-bearers.
View the ceremony on film: