Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska has passed away

Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska, fot. wikipedia.org

In Warsaw, Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska died at the age of 94. She was the younger daughter of the Marshall Józef Piłsudski. She was the pilot of gliders and during the 2nd World War she served in British Air Transport Auxiliary. Together with the mother Aleksandra Piłsudska and sister Wanda, she was engaged in the activity of post-war Polish emigration, organised the help for “Solidarność” underground. Together with her husband and adult children Joanna and Krzysztof, she was taking actions to release political prisoners and she supported democratic opposition in Poland. The last years of her life, she spent in Warsaw.

Jadwiga Piłsudska was born on the 28th of February 1920 as the second daughter of Józef Piłsudski and Aleksandra Szczerbińska. She spent her youth mainly in Warsaw. She lived with her family in Belweder and Sulejówek.

As a 12-year-old girl she got interested in flying: she started to construct planes models. In 1937, she took a gliding course in Sokola Góra near Krzemieniec in Wołyń. She continued it in Bezmiechowa in Bieszczady Mountains. And she obtained gliding categories: “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. She also joined Aeroclub in Warsaw where she flew in “Bąk” motor gliders. She flew on gliders around 100 hours before war. She was going to start studies in aeronautical engineering at the Faculty of Mechanics at Warsaw University of Technology.

In September 1939 she came to Vilnius with her mother and elder sister. After the aggression of USSR towards Poland, they went to Kaunas and then they were evacuated by a special plane through Latvia and Sweden to England. After the evacuation, she started architecture studies at Newnham College of Cambridge University. She obtained master diploma in engineering in architecture in 1946. She also studied city planning and psychology. As a student, she applied for the admission to Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) many times. It is a civil organisation that deals with the distribution of the produced or renovated planes from factories and workshops to army RAF bases in Great Britain. She started her service on the 15th of 1942. Piłsudska was one of 17 Polish pilots and one of three Polish females in the whole Air Transport Auxiliary.

In 1944, she got married with captain Andrzej Jaraczewski, the officer of Polish Navy. After the war, she was in England as an immigrant. She worked there as an architect and she ran a company with her husband that produced lamps, argand lamps and furniture of own design.

In autumn 1990, Jadwiga Piłsudska-Jaraczewska came back to Poland for good. She was a social worker in Piłsudski Family Foundation and the Association of the Friends of Józef Piłsudski Institutes. Together with her sister, she tried to get back the small manor house of Piłsudski family in Sulejówek (which was successful in 2000) and Józef Piłsudski Museum that was founded there. She also took part in the life of seniors of aviation by taking part in meetings and air shows as a guest.

On the 28th of February 2008, she was received the Commander’s Cross of Polonia Restituta from the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński for the heroic attitude and bravery during the 2nd World War, outstanding achievements in popularising the history and tradition of Poland and the care for the memory of the achievements of the Marshall Józef Piłsudski.”

Based on: muzeumpilsudski.pl, IAR

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/nie-zyje-jadwiga-pilsudska-jaraczewska

Tłumaczenie by Marta Wojtowicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Marta Wojtowicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

© 2011 efhr.eu. All rights reserved.