Maria Kaczyńska

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Maria Kaczyńska
Polish First Lady - Maria Kaczyńska sitting on a chair wearing a light coloured, long sleeved top and long striped pants. The top has small ruffles on the cuffs and down the front. It has a shirt style collar. The chair is at an angle to the left and the subjects' head is turned toward the camera. Her legs are crossed and her arms are loosely crossed on her knees.
First Lady of Poland
In role
23 December 2005 – 10 April 2010
PresidentLech Kaczyński
Preceded byJolanta Kwaśniewska
Succeeded byAnna Komorowska
Personal details
Maria Helena Mackiewicz

(1942-08-21)21 August 1942
Machava, Third Reich (now Narach, Belarus)
Died10 April 2010(2010-04-10) (aged 67)
Smolensk, Russia
Political partyLaw and Justice
Lech Kaczyński (m. 1978)
ChildrenMarta Dubieniecka
  • Lidia Piszczako
  • Czesław Mackiewicz
Alma materUniversity of Gdańsk

Maria Helena Kaczyńska (Polish pronunciation: [ˈmarja kaˈtʂɨj̃ska]; née Mackiewicz [matsˈkʲɛvitʂ]; 21 August 1942[a] – 10 April 2010) was the First Lady of Poland from 2005 to 2010 as the wife of President Lech Kaczyński.[1][2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Kaczyńska was born in Machava (near Kabylnik, now Belarus),[3][4] the daughter of Lidia and Czesław Mackiewicz.[5] 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)[6] at Katyń.[5]

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.[5] After graduating in 1966, she worked at the Maritime Institute in Gdańsk, where she met Lech Kaczyński in 1976. They married in 1978,[5] and had a daughter.[5] In addition to her native Polish, Maria Kaczyńska spoke English, French and some Spanish and Russian.[5]


The fuselage of the aircraft involved in the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash

On 10 April 2010, 10:41 MSD (06:41 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.[7]

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.[8]

She was laid to rest alongside her husband on 18 April 2010 in the honorable royal crypt at the Wawel Cathedral.[9]

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.[10]

Honours and awards[edit]

Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (16 April 2010, posthumously)
Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great (15 April 2009, Lithuania)[11]
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)


a According to the list of passports of the Tu-154 flight.[12][13] Some media gives her date of birth as 21 August 1943.[2][14]


  1. ^ "Maria Kaczyńska". Wirtualna Polska (in Polish). 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Maria Kaczyńska". (in Polish). Polish Press Agency. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Zostanę sobą" (in Polish). (by Iza Komendołowicz). 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Official site of The First Lady" (in Polish). 2005. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Official Biography: Maria Kaczyńska". Republic of Poland. 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 8 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  6. ^ Fischer, Benjamin B., "The Katyn Controversy: Stalin's Killing Field". "Studies in Intelligence", Winter 1999–2000. Retrieved on 10 December 2005.
  7. ^ "Polish President, 95 Others Killed in Plane Crash ", VOA News, 10 April 2010, Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Polish president killed in plane crash". CNN. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Presidential resting place". Polskie Radio. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  10. ^ "Sekrety pamiętników Marii Kaczyńskiej Więcej" (in Polish). 5 August 2010.
  11. ^ Lithuanian Presidency Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Lithuanian Orders searching form
  12. ^ Список погибших при авиакатастрофе Ту-154. L!FE NEWS (in Russian). LifeNews. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  13. ^ Список погибших в авиакатастрофе Ту-154 в Смоленской области. Ministry of Emergency Situations (in Russian). 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Maria Kaczyńska (1943 - 2010)". Wirtualna Polska (in Polish). 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Jolanta Kwaśniewska
First Lady of Poland
Succeeded by
Anna Komorowska