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    In Memoriam: Prof. Wanda Półtawska, Defender of Life and Friend of St. John Paul II

    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.

    A Lady of the Order of the White Eagle, Professor Wanda Półtawska, has passed away. A doctor, a friend of Saint John Paul II, a survivor of the German concentration camp in Ravensbrück, an unwavering defender of life. A towering personality in a petite frame. Unforgettable. She lived almost 102 years and has now gone to her Father’s House. Certainly, she would not allow tears to be shed for her. Honor her memory! R.I.P.

    President Duda wrote on X

    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.

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