Irena Anders

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Irena Anders
2007.05.12 Irena Anders by Kubik.jpg
Born Irena Jarosiewicz
(1920-05-12)12 May 1920
Bruntál, Czechoslovakia
Died 29 November 2010(2010-11-29) (aged 90)
London, England
Nationality Polish-Ukrainian
Occupation Actress, singer
Spouse(s) 1st Guido Lorraine
2nd Władysław Anders
Irena Anders in the Polish Senate (2008).

Irena Anders (12 May 1920 – 29 November 2010)[1] was a Polish stage actress and singer. During World War II she worked in the troupe of Henryk Wars and later in the "Polish Parade" band ("Polska Parada"), giving performances for the Polish Armed Forces in the West (commanded by General Władysław Anders, her future husband). She was one of the first singers to sing the Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Born as Iryna Yarosevych into a Ukrainian family in Bruntál (present-day Czech Republic), where her father Mykola Yarosevych was chaplain for Greek-catholic soldiers into Austro-Hungarian army. Her mother Olena Yarosevych (née Nyzhankivska) was from a Ukrainian noble family. Right before the fall of Austro-Hungarian Empire and proclamation of West Ukrainian People's Republic, the family returned home where her father became chaplain of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and later was a priest in villages Sapohiv and Bryn. In 1926 the family moved to Lviv, where Iryna went to Greek Catholic gymnasium and Ukrainian trading school. From 1929 to 1939 she also studied into Lysenko Lviv Musical Institute, in her cousin Nestor Nyzhankivsky's fortepiano class, and later into vocal class of Mariya Sokil and Lidiya Ulukhanova.

She used the stage name Renata Bogdańska. After World War II, she remained in the United Kingdom. In 1948, she married General Władysław Anders.[2][3] She starred in several movies. In 2003, a documentary film was made about her. On 12 May 2007, the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski awarded Anders the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, "for outstanding contribution to the independence of the Polish Republic, for Polish community and social activities" .[4]

She died, aged 90 from a heart attack on 29 November 2010, in London.


Her parents were Greek Catholic priest Mykola Yarosevych and his wife Olena Yarosevych (née Nyzhankivska). Her father before WWI had Russophile views, for which after the war broke out Austrian government sent him to Talerhof Concentration Camp. After the war he became Ukrainophile. On her mothers side she came from family of Ukrainian noble family of patriotic and musical traditions. Her mother's brothers were Ukrainian composer, singer and politician Ostap Nyzhankivsky, and Ukrainian composer and opera singer Oleksandr Nyzhankivsky. Her cousins were Ukrainian composer and pianist Nestor Nizhankivsky and Ukrainian composer and music author of March of Ukrainian Nationalists Omelian Nyzhankivsky. In her youth she participated in Ukrainian Scouts Organisation. As did her brother Anatol, who was in the same group as Roman Shukhevych.

Selected discography[edit]

Gramophone (78 rpm) records[edit]

  • Ludzie mówią / Słońce nad Paryżem (Polonia, Cat. 180 Op. 233A/234A)
  • Uśmiech Wilna / Wróć (Polonia, Cat. 181 Op. 235/236 Fs. 723/724)
  • Czarny kot / Nad jeziorem (Polonia, Cat. 207 Op. 287/290)
  • Dlaczegoś spójrzałeś na mnie / Siano (Polonia, Cat. 208 Op. 288/289)
  • Dziękuję ci / Serce i wino (Polonia, Cat. 209 Op. 291/293)
  • Umowiłem się z nią na dziewiątą / Que sera, sera (Polonia, Cat. 210 Op. 292/294)
  • Pod dachami Paryża / Bezsenna noc (Polonia, Cat. 211 Op. 295/297)
  • Violetera / Walc księżycowy (Polonia, Cat. 212 Op. 296/298)


  • Renata Bogdańska śpiewa kujawiaki Ref-Rena i inne piosenki (Renata Bogdanska sings kujawiaks by Ref-Ren and other songs): Melodia Records Co. (Chicago) LPM-1010 (mono) or SLPM-1010 (stereo)
  • Do słuchu i tańca (For listening and dance): Melodia Records Co. (Chicago) LPM-1012 (mono) or SLPM-1012 (stereo)
  • Renata Bogdańska śpiewa piosenki romantyczne (Renata Bogdanska sings romantic songs): Melodia Records Co. (Chicago) SLPM-1022
  • Renata Bogdańska śpiewa piosenki sentymentalne (Renata Bogdanska sings sentimental songs): Melodia Records Co. (Chicago) SLPM-1024
  • Moja córka i inne przeboje (My daughter and other hits): Melodia Records Co. (Chicago) LPM-1028


  • (2010) Nagrania Orbis Polonia Londyn: Renata Bogdańska (Recordings of Orbis Polonia, London: Renata Bogdanska), Teddy Records TR CD 1014