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Stefania Staszewska-Balbin papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2002.348.1

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    Contains a photograph; rectangular form with scalloped edges; black and white image of group of women posing outdoors, with trees in background.
    publication/distribution:  1939 May
    Collection Creator
    Stefania Staszewska
    Stefania Staszewska (1923-2004) was born Stefania Szochur on 1 October 1923 in Warsaw, Poland to Samuel and Masza (née Szpanin) Szochur. Her father worked as a shop salesman and was active in the Bund party. He lost his job in 1936 and then worked for Philips selling radio parts in Warsaw. Stefania was active in the Polish Socialist Party as a teenager.
    After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Samuel wanted to flee Warsaw, but Masza didn’t want to leave her mother behind. Samuel went by himself to Białystok in late fall 1939. He was in contact with Stefania and her mother until his last letter dated 10 June 1940. Around that time he was deported by the Soviets to a forced-labor camp where he perished.
    Stefania and her mother remained in the Warsaw ghetto, where Masza hid in a basement to avoid deportations. Stefania worked in the Oschman-Leszcynski workshop which refurbished military uniforms. In summer 1942 Masza was deported to Treblinka where she perished. Stefania was selected for forced-labor and remained in the ghetto. She became active in the Jewish Fighting Organization (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, Z.O.B.). On 19 April 1943, the day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began, Stefania was deported to the Poniatowa labor camp. With the help of two Polish women, Anna Arkari and Marysia Grzybowska, who were hiding a Jewish boy in Warsaw, she escaped the labor camp in July 1943. Stefania was then able to obtain a false birth certificate through her ghetto drama instructor Klima Fuswerk. Stefania survived in Warsaw under the false-identity of Zofia Bartoszewska and worked as a maid. She fled with her employer’s family, the Parnowskas, in December 1944 to Poronin where she worked as a cook in an orphanage.
    After liberation, Stefania studied acting in Warsaw. She married Grzegorz Gershon Staszewski in 1946. Their daughter Dorota was born on 27 May 1947. Stefania’s husband died in the early 1950s and she married Adam Heldenberg Kulik. Their daughter Maria was born on 12 December 1954. After the death of her second husband, she later married Szymon Balbin. Stefania had a successful career as a theatre actress in Poland.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Administrative Notes

    The photograph was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Stefania Staszewska-Balbin in 2002.
    Record last modified:
    2023-10-27 10:16:35
    This page:

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