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Remembering Krystyna

Posted by Carol Browne on 5 Mar 2017

Tags: Poland, real life, Being Krystyna, Holocaust, WW2

We are deeply saddened by the news that holocaust survivor Krystyna Porsz has passed away. Carol Browne, author of Being Krystyna, pays tribute to a truly remarkable lady.

This week I had some very sad news. Krystyna Porsz, the subject of my novella Being Krystyna, died at the age of 95 after a short illness. She had been suffering from dementia and severe arthritis for some time but had battled on with the same grit and determination that had kept her going throughout her ordeals during World War II. I’m pleased to say she was surrounded by her loving family when she passed over and she also received great care from those responsible for her well-being at Lavender House Residential Care Home.

I’m glad I was able to write Krystyna’s story because it is so important we remember what she and others were forced to endure; what evil and destruction can be unleashed when racism and hatred are allowed to rule unchecked. But there are other lessons to glean from her life, so though we are all sad that she has gone, I feel it is only right that we acknowledge her many achievements. She could have let her experiences during the Holocaust make her bitter and mean. She could have wallowed in self-pity. She could have learned to hate those who hated her. Instead she made a good life for herself after the war. She had a happy marriage and brought up two children. She worked at a job she loved for thirty years. Above all she made many, many friends—Germans among them—and she carried on with life even when bereavement and ill health robbed her of so many things. I think she is an example to us all not merely because of how she managed to survive the Holocaust, but also because of how she lived afterwards.

On behalf of Dilliebooks and myself, I would like to extend sincere condolences to Krystyna’s family and friends.

RIP Krystyna Porsz – 23rd July, 1921 to 27th February, 2017.

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About the Author

Carol Browne

Born in 1954 and raised in Crewe, Cheshire, Carol Browne obtained an honours degree in English language and literature from Nottingham University in 1976. When not writing fiction and non-fiction, Carol works as a self-employed housekeeper and...

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Related Books

Being Krystyna

In 2012 when young Polish immigrant Agnieszka visits fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home for the first time, she thinks it a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience. Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and a death march to freedom. The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer. Will Agnieszka be able to keep her promise to tell her story, and, in this harrowing memoir of survival, what is the message for us today?

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