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    Zofia “Sosenka” Czekalska: A Legacy of Courage and Compassion

    Zofia Czekalska was born on July 6, 1923, in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, where she spent the first 21 years of her life. She moved to Warsaw during the occupation. At 13, she became a scout, which greatly influenced her values and ideals. In an interview for the Warsaw Uprising Museum’s “Oral History Archive,” Czekalska shared how scouting left a lasting impact on her and her peers.

    A Wartime Experience

    “The W Hour found me in Śródmieście. I lived at 45 Sienna Street, on the sixth floor. I saw the first shots at Grzybowski Square,” she recounted. During the uprising, she served as a liaison in the “Chrobry II” group and later as a nurse, spending the entire time in Śródmieście. After the uprising’s capitulation, she was sent to a POW camp. Upon liberation, she returned to Poland, first to Tomaszów Mazowiecki, then to Warsaw.

    After the war, Czekalska dedicated herself to her passions: knitting, sewing, and embroidery, working in various Warsaw theaters making stage costumes. Dr. Karol Mazur, head of the Educational Department at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, noted that the uprising was a traumatic experience for her, one she hesitated to discuss for many years due to political fears.

    Czekalska eventually opened up in the 1990s, encouraged by her granddaughter, also a scout. Her involvement with the Warsaw Uprising Museum, particularly in educational sessions, left a lasting impression on young audiences. “Sosenka,” as she is affectionately known, became a cherished figure in the museum, remembered for her ability to connect emotionally with even the most disinterested students.

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