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    On March 19, 1909, Elżbieta Zawacka “Zo” was born

    Participant of the Warsaw Uprising, Elżbieta Zawacka “Zo” was born on March 19, 1909. Read more about this “legendary figure” of World War II times.


    Zawacka was the only woman among the Cichociemni (elite special-operations paratroopers of the Polish Army in exile). Also, she was the second Polish woman in the history of the Polish Army who was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

    Elżbieta Zawacka known also by her war-time nom de guerre Zo, was a Polish university professor, scouting instructor, SOE agent and a freedom fighter during World War II. She was promoted to brigadier general of the Polish Army by President Lech Kaczyński on 3 May 2006. Sometimes called "the only woman among the Cichociemni", she served as a courier for the Home Army, carrying letters and other documents from Nazi-occupied Poland to the Polish government in exile in London and back. Her regular route ran from Warsaw through Berlin and Sweden to London. She was also responsible for organizing routes for other couriers of the Home Army.

    In addition, she was distinguished by the Virtuti Militari twice and the Cross of Valor five times.

    In 1944 Zawacka fought in the Warsaw Uprising, and after its defeat moved to Kraków, where she continued her underground activities. In 1945 she joined the anti-Communist organization Freedom and Independence (WiN), but quit soon afterwards and took up a teaching job.

    In honour of her memory

    Elżbieta Zawacka “Zo” passed away in 2009.

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