|Maria Helena Kaczyńska|
|First Lady of Poland|
December 23, 2005 – April 10, 2010
|Preceded by||Jolanta Kwaśniewska|
|Succeeded by||Anna Komorowska|
|Born||Maria Helena Mackiewicz
21 August 1942
|Died||10 April 2010
|Residence||Presidential Palace, Warsaw (official)|
|Alma mater||University of Gdańsk (M.S.)|
Maria Kaczyńska (Polish pronunciation: [ˈmarja kaˈt͡ʂɨɲska]; née Mackiewicz; 21 August 1942[a] – 10 April 2010) was the First Lady of Poland from 2005-10 as the wife of President Lech Kaczyński.
Early and personal life
Born as Maria Helena Mackiewicz in Machowo (near Kobylnik, now Belarus) to Lidia and Czesław Mackiewicz. Her father fought in the Vilnius Armia Krajowa (Home Army), while an uncle fought in the Polish II Corps of Gen. Władysław Anders at the Battle of Monte Cassino; another uncle was murdered by the NKVD (Soviet secret police) at Katyń.
Maria Kaczyńska attended primary and secondary schools in Rabka Zdrój in southern Poland. She studied transport economics and foreign trade in Sopot at what is now the University of Gdańsk. After graduating in 1966, she worked at the Maritime Institute in Gdańsk, where she met Lech Kaczyński in 1976. They married in 1978, and had a daughter. In addition to her native Polish, Maria Kaczyńska spoke English, French, Japanese and some Spanish and Russian.
On 10 April 2010, 10:56 MSD (06:56 UTC), Maria Kaczyńska, and her husband, Polish President Lech Kaczyński, died when the Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M they were aboard crashed while attempting to land at Smolensk-North Airport in the Russian city of Smolensk. All 89 passengers on board and the 7 crew members were killed.
The Kaczyńskis were traveling with several senior government figures on a trip to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Katyn Massacre, where thousands of Polish military officers were executed by the NKVD.
Her diary was found by her daughter after her death, sparking an interest among many publishers who desired to buy it and release it. However, Marta Kaczyńska-Dubieniecka stated the diary was too precious for her to sell and also said that she was not likely to reveal its content.
Honours and awards
- Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (16 April 2010, posthumously)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great (April 15, 2009, Lithuania)
- Xirka Ġieħ ir-Repubblika (26 January 2009, Malta)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry (1 September 2008, Portugal)
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order pro merito Melitensi (14 May 2007)
- "Polish President Lech Kaczynski dies in plane crash". BBC. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Maria Kaczyńska". Wirtualna Polska (in Polish). 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- "Maria Kaczyńska". Gazeta.pl (in Polish). Polish Press Agency. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- "Zostanę sobą" (in Polish). styl.pl (by Iza Komendołowicz). 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- "Official site of The First Lady" (in Polish). 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-17.[dead link]
- "Official Biography: Maria Kaczyńska". Republic of Poland. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 10 April 2010.[dead link]
- Fischer, Benjamin B., "The Katyn Controversy: Stalin's Killing Field". "Studies in Intelligence", Winter 1999–2000. Retrieved on 10 December 2005.
- "Polish President, 95 Others Killed in Plane Crash ", VOA News, 10 April 2010, Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Polish president killed in plane crash". CNN. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Presidential resting place". Polskie Radio. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Lithuanian Presidency, Lithuanian Orders searching form
- "Список погибших при авиакатастрофе Ту-154". L!FE NEWS (in Russian). 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- "Список погибших в авиакатастрофе Ту-154 в Смоленской области". Ministry of Emergency Situations (in Russian). 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- "Maria Kaczyńska (1943 - 2010)". Wirtualna Polska (in Polish). 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
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|First Lady of Poland