Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Professor Wanda Półtawska, a stalwart defender of life and associate of Saint John Paul II, who left an indelible mark on Poland’s history, passed away today on the 25th of October, days before her 102nd birthday.
Poland mourns the loss of a remarkable figure, Professor Wanda Półtawska, who passed away on October 25, 2023. A distinguished physician, a close friend of Saint John Paul II, and a survivor of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, she was a resolute defender of life and a giant in a petite frame. President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, paid tribute to her as an unforgettable personality.
A Life of Service and Resilience
Professor Wanda Półtawska, a medical doctor and social activist, was a witness to history and an ardent Polish patriot. She collaborated extensively with Pope John Paul II, contributing to the development of Catholic social doctrine. Her dedication extended to her longtime membership in the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life.
A Harrowing Past
During World War II, she served as a scout and was involved in underground education. She endured the horrors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was subjected to pseudo-medical experiments. After the war, she became an academic lecturer, earning acclaim for her work in psychiatry and research.
A Legacy of Compassion and Truth
Professor Półtawska was a custodian of the values of independent Poland, embodying the Gospel ideals of love for one’s neighbor and championing the sanctity of human life. She played a significant role in commemorating the truth about the wartime fate of Poles.
In 2016, she was awarded Poland’s highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the nation, promotion of family values, and her Christian testimony of humanism.