Maria Vetulani de Nisau

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Maria Vetulani de Nisau
Maria Vetulani 1918-1919.JPG
Born(1898-11-27)27 November 1898
Died2 September 1944(1944-09-02) (aged 45)
NationalityPolish

Maria de Nisau née Vetulani (27 November 1898 – 2 September 1944) was a Polish woman soldier, combatant for Poland's independence, and participant in the Polish-Ukrainian War and World War II.

Biography[edit]

She was the daughter of an engineer, Franciszek Vetulani (1856−1921), and Katarzyna Ipohorska-Lenkiewicz (1868−1915).[1][2] She had a brother, Stanisław, and two sisters, Zofia and Cecylia. Her family lived in numerous cities, first in Tarnów, later in Kraków, Lwów, Zakopane and back in Tarnów. After graduating from Orzeszkowa Gimnazjum in Tarnów, where Maria was a scouts member, in 1918 she began medical studies at Jagiellonian University. She was a member of the Polish Military Organisation. In 1918–1919 she fought in the defense of Lwów, wearing as a camouflage a man's uniform as woman were not allowed to take part in regular fights.[3] She claimed to be a Jagiellonian University student, Marian Ipohorski.[4]

In 1923 she married communist activist Bohdan de Nisau. In 1924 their son Witold was born and Vetulani decided not to continue her studies at the university. In 1925 Maria and her family settled down in Warsaw, but after two years they moved to the Soviet Union. In 1934 Bohdan was arrested by the Soviets so she fled the USSR, believing her husband had been killed (after the war it was said that Bohdan de Nisau was killed in the Soviet prison almost ten years later, in 1943). She returned to Warsaw, where she worked as an office worker.

During the occupation she was liaison soldier of the Armia Krajowa. Her conspiratorial pseudonym was Maryna.[5] In her apartment at Świętokrzyska Street she organised a contact point and a hiding place for Jewish people. In August 1944 she took part in the Warsaw Uprising. During the fights Vetulani was wounded. She was treated in the hospital at Długa Street and was killed on September 2, during the German pacification of the uprising hospitals. Her son Witold also fought in the Uprising; he was wounded and imprisoned by the Nazis, but survived.[5]

Maria Vetulani was twice awarded with the Cross of Valor. A street in Tarnów is named after her.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barbara Sawczyk; Maria Sąsiadowicz; Ewa Stańczyk (2004). Ocalić od zapomnienia... Patroni tarnowskich ulic (PDF). 2. Tarnów: Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna im. Juliusza Słowackiego. pp. 104−105. ISBN 83-915445-6-7.
  2. ^ Janusz Wojtycza (22 May 2003). "Maria Vetulani de Nisau (1898−1944)". Gazeta Wyborcza Kraków (in Polish): 8.
  3. ^ Agata Żak (2 November 2012). "Walczyła o wolność Lwowa i Warszawy". Dziennik Polski − Tarnów region (in Polish).
  4. ^ Jankowski, Stanisław M. (2012). Dziewczęta w maciejówkach. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Trio. pp. 352−354. ISBN 978-83-7436-289-4.
  5. ^ a b "Maria Vetulani de Nisau Bio" (in Polish). Warsaw Uprising Museum. Retrieved 23 October 2012.