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Sabina Żdżarska „Anna”

Sabina Żdżarka „Anna” was born 25 November 1911 in Lubraniec, near Włocławek. In 1919, her father, Jan Woźnicki, a teacher and activist of the Polish People’s Party, was elected as the Member of Parliament during the first elections of independent Poland. With her father’s election, the family moved to Warsaw. Sabina graduated from the Maria Konopnicka All Girls High School. She started studying mathematics at the Warsaw University, however, her heart condition caused her to terminate her studies. She later started up at the State Institute for Handcrafts and Drawing. In 1938, she married Wacław Żdżarski. In that same year, she began working in the Prisons department of the Ministry of Justice, headed by Tadeusz Żenczykowski, who later became chief of the Home Army (AK) Bureau of Information and Propaganda (BIP). From 1941, she joined the underground movement in the Photographic Section of this Unit. During 1943-44, she ran an underground photography school with her husband. During the Uprising, she continued working as a photo reporter in Mokotów district. On 29 August, she was seriously wounded in a bomb blast. In the final days of September, Sabina and her husband left Warsaw, travelled to Wilanów, and from there to Milanówek. After the war, she ran her home and remained active in local educational organisations. She died 26 January 2003 in Warsaw.

 

  • During the Uprising, Sabina Żdżarska photographed in the Mokotów district. She used her own Leica camera and films she had gathered before the outbreak of battle. She set up a photo lab inside her parent’s house at 30 Pilicka Street. The lab, most of the negatives and photographs were destroyed in an German attack in this area. Only a few fragments of those negatives have been found. The images which did survive show insurgents at Sisters of St. Elizabeth Hospital on Goszczynskiego Street, a group of couriers by the sewer exit at Malczewskiego Street, as well as the well-known ‘Paramedic Małgorzatka’ – Janina Zaleska – the heroine of the Uprising song composed by Mirosław Jezierski and Jan Markowski.
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