Ewa Cichy

* 1907  †︎ 2014

  • "After we moved here, to Wileńska Street, one day NKVD invaded to our house (NKVD was a kind of soviet organization whose job was to protect the Soviet army). One day all of sudden they arrived and burst into my house and they took my husband away, claiming he was an AK (Armia Krajowa-Home Army) member. And they took him somewhere. They took him to the place where W-Z road is today, to Marki. I said to my son – ‘Follow them and find out where father will be taken’. So my son ran after the car and he found out that his father was arrested. In a building where my husband was placed, he met his friends from AK but none of them admitted they knew each other’s. He had a hearing but he never pleaded guilty, he didn’t say he was an AK member. He just told them – ‘You keep me in this place while my students who are just kids stay without a teacher!’ He was a teacher indeed. Zofia Szyszko, a wife of the professor Bogusz stood up for him as well (The professor was a Jew, and Mrs Zofia Szyszko was also a Jewess. He came back to Poland from Russia and I remember him often recollecting his mother’s words. His mother used to say ‘it is embarrassing to be a bourgeo but nonetheless it is also so ‘haraszo’ [nice]’). Zofia Szyszko stood up for him and they let him go. They released him and he came back home! I can’t remember this moment when I saw him. I just remember I threw my arms around him and I cried. I cried because my brother died in war".

  • "Leopold Majet Fundation was situated on Okopowa 55a and on the some street there were two schools. One flank of the building was occupied by polish school, the second one by the Jewish school. Any celebrations and ceremonies were arranged by together. The headmaster of the Jewish school was Mrs Anna Natarblutowa. When the German occupation began, the Jews were immediately taken to ghetto, and Mrs Natarblutowa and her husband as well (he died in ghetto). From time to time the Jews from ghetto were got down to work to the town center. Once, she Mrs Natarblutowa went outside ghetto with the group of Jews to remove some rubble. They walked along the street when she jumped into the side gateway. The group passed the gate but she left. She arrived to our house to Prague. We kept her and hid her for 7 days. We knew and it was posted in those days that the penalty for hiding Jews was death. Afterwards Mrs Zofia Szyszko, professor Bardach wife took care of her. Mrs Szyszko found some hiding place for her and arranged some job. Mrs Natarblutowa started to work, I think she was embroidering the patterns on the stockings or something like that".

  • "I was involved in many charity organizations in Praga but I never took money for anything. My father used to say – Charity and social work should never be salaried. You are a social worker or you are not. And also he said – Poland is like a sun and there are enough sunbeams for everyone. I remember him waiting every single night until midnight when the radio played the national anthem. He was always very moved".

  • "My mum taught secret lessons in the school situated on the corner of Okopowa and Wolska streets. It seemed to be a good and easy place for kids to get together. A headmaster of the school, the one on Praga, was Mrs Rzeszotarska. During the occupation Mrs Rzeszotarska founded an ‘Undergarments school’ because it was a type of school that Germans allowed. My daughter attended to that school and therefore she can sew really well. Girls officially had arts and craft workshop so they always kept materials on their tables but in the same time the teacher, Mrs Wadowa, was giving them secret lessons"

  • "My husband worked in a secret service. His job was to inspect some German agencies, collect information, code them and send. He applied the machine which was invented and built by himself. Codes he was using turned the message into a few dots. I guess a small coded note was much easier to smuggle across the border so the couriers did it successfully. One of the couriers was my husband’s brother Stanislaw (I’ve got his picture here if you to have a look). One day he was denounced by Slovak, some Slovakian shepherd. Stanislaw was then arrested and imprisoned in Pawiak. And finally he died in Pawiak, he was executed in the ghetto ruins. Before he died he had helped many people in Pawiak, he looked after wounded prisoners in Pawiak, and he helped people tortured by Gestapo. There is a book telling about his life and activity in Pawiak. We’ve got this book, here, in our home archive".

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Warszawa, 17.05.2011

    duration: 02:24:04
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

My father used to say – Charity and social work should never be salaried You are a social worker or you are not

Ewa Cichy
Ewa Cichy
photo: Pamět národa - Archiv

She was born in 1907 in Radłowice (Sambor province, Lwowski district). Her father Julian Smulikowski was a member of Second Polish Republic Parliament and he acted in the Polish Teachers’ Union as well. Her mother Maria was a teacher. Ewa Cichy had two brothers; Adam and Leszek. Ewa Cichy spent her childhood in Lviv and in 1914 she started her education in Maria Magdalena School there. When the 1st Word War started Ewa Cichy, together with her family and Marian Falski (author of popular polish primer book) evacuated to Viena where they stayed over a year.  In 1915 they came back to Poland and resided in Oświęcim, in father’s sister house, but just for a short term.  Afterwards the family reached Lviv and moved to the tenement house on Potockiego Street.  Ewa Cichy attended Henryk Sienkiewicz School. She completed secondary school and two-year Educational Course after the war. When she got married she moved to her husband family house in Kurpie. She gave a birth to her son and her daughter. In 1930s together with her husband, her mother and brothers she moved to Warsaw because her mother got a position of the headmaster of the Polish and Jewish School at Okopowa 55. When the 2n Word War started Ewa Cichy’s mother organized secret education. Marian Cichy, Ewa’s husband worked in a Secret Service. Her two brothers died, taking part in the Underground Operation. The brother Leszek died during Mokotów siege. Ewa Cichy and her husband Marian Cichy were involved in the Underground Educational System and they used to arrang secret academic level degree lessons in a house on Praga, in Wilenska Street, where they lived. Ewa Cichy’s daughter was taking part in secrets lesson organized in Underwear School building. The family left for Lublin during the Warsaw Uprising, after its end they came back to Warsaw and stayed in the some house.  After 1945 Ewa Cichy used to teach physic at school. She worked in the Cooks and Waiters School as well. She retired when she was 55 but continued doing some social works. She wrote down her own memories and memories about her friends.  Ewa Cichy, 104 years old at the moment, still lives on Praga with her daughter.