Oral history
History witnesses

Janina Zgrzembska

Interlocutor name:
Interlocutor surname:
Strączek Ignacy
Jaczewski Przemysław
Catalogue number:
Recording date:
7th August 2014
Recording location:
Recording duration:
Recording language:
Recording copyright:
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN
Poles Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust

Interlocutor biogram

Janina Zgrzembska is one of the three children of Irena Sendlerowa and Stefan Zgrzembski (born as Adam Celnikier in 1905 in a Jewish family, whom Irena Sendlerowa met during her university years). The first of Janina Zgrzembska’s brothers, Andrzej, died soon after birth, and the other one, Adam, in 1999. In 1959, Janina Zgrzembska’s parents got divorced, and Janina and Adam stayed with their mother. Their childhood was quite difficult due to their mother’s activist commitment, which left her little time for family life. In late 1980s, Janina Zgrzembska went to Israel for the first time, and started to discover the wealth of Jewish culture and customs. Ever since the death of Irena Sendlerowa in 2008, she has considered it important to cultivate the memory of her mother. Together with Anna Mieszkowska, she wrote a book entitled Dzieci Ireny Sendlerowej [Children of Irena Sendlerowa]. She has also been participating in celebrations commemorating the Righteous one, such as celebrations of naming schools after her.

Recording summary

  1. Irena Sendlerowa being honoured by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the people working with Irena Sendlerowa, 00:21
  2. Sources of knowledge about the activity of Irena Sendlerowa: 02:42
  3. The number of people rescued, J.Z. about the activity of her mother and Irena Sendlerowa’s stories regarding this matter, Warsaw immediately after the war, the activity of I.S. after the war, 03:53
  4. Socialist traditions in the family of Irena Sendlerowa, reaction to being given the title of “Righteous...,” 8:00
  5. Year 1968 and I.S.’s reaction to the March events, 11:25
  6. Tolerance and knowledge about the multicultural past of Poland in the home of J.Z., travel to Israel and discovery of Jewish customs, 14:55
  7. Contact with the people rescued by I.S., keeping the names of the rescued individuals, 17:58
  8. Secondary school no. 34 in Warsaw and its principal in 1968, 22:21
  9. Book about Irena Sendlerowa in Hebrew, memories of I.S. about World War II, ways of preserving the memory of I.S.’s activity, 24:13
In order to properly print this page, please use dedicated print button.