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Critical Biography for Wanda Poltawska

From Women in European History

Contents

Critical Biography


Introduction

Wanda Poltawska

Wanda Poltawska.[1]

Imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp of Ravensbrück from 1941 to 1945, Wanda Poltawska was one of the many female prisoners forced by German physicians to endure inhumane and criminal medical experiments. The strong-minded and unyielding Wanda Poltawska rose above her title of a mere “guinea pig” in the concentration camp system by becoming an ardent fighter for freedom and life within and beyond the bounds of the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her memoir written in June and July of 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, reveals the triumph of the human spirit when faced with war and genocide. The memoir, which was eventually titled And I Am Afraid of My Dreams, was not published until 1961, as it originally served as Poltawska’s personal liberation from the nightmares she survived and relived in her dreams. As she states in her memoir, “But the point is not the actual experience so much as my own response to it. I need to sort it out and get a proper perspective on it.”[2] In writing this personal diary of recollections, Wanda Poltawska was not focused on condemning or regretting the experiences she faced in Ravensbrück. By examining her struggle to survive, her resistance of mental destruction, and her quest for freedom, Poltawska also presented what she was able to gain and come to understand by living through such a dark time in human history. The experiences from World War II, particularly those in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, indisputably influenced and guided Wanda Poltawska in formulating her ideologies, values, and basis to life. Starting from her participation in the resistance movement and continuing with her efforts to survive jointly with others in the concentration camp system, Wanda Poltawska came to a much different reading of history as well as a varying outlook on gender roles than those commonly subscribed to by Western society. Unlike the gender competition offered by Western feminists, Wanda Poltawska used core values of Catholicism to formulate her vision on human solidarity and gender roles. Her first hand encounters with the loss of ethical norms as well as mass genocide during World War II motivated her to focus her attention on defending human rights, dignity, and life, with which she formulated her influential pro-life and pro-family agenda.

Before Ravensbrück

Wanda Poltawska, the daughter of a post-office clerk in Lublin, Poland, was a teenager when World War II erupted in Europe. Before the start of World War II she was still in high school, planning to continue her study of Polish Language and Literature at a university in hopes of becoming a writer. Unfortunately, her normal teenage years drastically changed with the German invasion of Poland on the first of September 1939. Her educational goals were instantly destroyed in the now occupied Poland, in which formal education on all levels was prohibited. The Nazi occupiers saw no need for a higher education for Poles and other Slavs alike. According to their racial and political mentality, the people of Poland were to work for the Third Reich, therefore only trade schools were allowed to function. Underground education was considered a serious offense and therefore punishable with death. Although her education had been terminated by the outburst of the war, Wanda Poltawska dedicated her passions and focused her full attention to an equally crucial and growing cause, her Fatherland of Poland.

As a member of the Girl Guide, a youth organization similar to Girl Scouts, Wanda Poltawska began her active participation in the Polish war effort by assisting the wounded with first aid and other supplies. Polish women, just like women all over the war stricken world, took on an active role in the war effort, which often went outside their traditional gender expectations. Poltawska's involvement became that much more pronounced and serious by taking part in resistance activity, in which she completed the task of carrying various letters, documents, and orders for resistance groups. Although seemingly trivial, such an undertaking of carrying messages was not only vital to the progress of the movement but also considered a serious crime by the Nazi regime. In addition, women had an expanded role of extracting information directly from the Germans by transplanting themselves into the lives of the enemy by working as servants and in other cases becoming part of their social circle. Young girls and women were especially favored and used for these jobs due to a perceived gender advantage. Compared to men, women seemed to pose no real threat and were less suspicious to German soldiers. However, when discovered for their resistance efforts, women were in no way treated differently from men. Many were executed for their efforts while others were sent to camps as prisoners of war since the Germans recognized them as full members of the resistance groups and armed forces.[3] Being only nineteen at the time yet fully aware of the grave consequences involved, the bold, persistent, and highly patriotic Poltawska did not shy away from the efforts. In February 1941, the Gestapo promptly arrested the young Wanda for her involvement in the resistance movement. Even when subjected to the Gestapo’s grueling interrogations and tortures, Poltawska’s loyalty and allegiance to the resistance effort relentlessly endured. Even though she disclosed no essential information to the Gestapo, Wanda was placed in the Lublin Castle prison for several months with prostitutes, murderers, and other criminals. Although suffering from the mental agony of being imprisoned and away from her family as well as from the various illnesses that ran rampant in the prison, Wanda Poltawska still took the time to focus on those around her. When sharing a cell with a young prostitute in the Lublin prison, Poltawska attempted to convince the young woman of her own self-worth and her ability to change herself and her eventual life outside the prison. Contact with such individuals during her imprisonment lead to her eventual and post-war focus on juvenile psychiatry. Wanda's motivation in studying psychiatry was to help the individual “become a mature person who is aware of his or her humanity”.[4] As a psychiatric doctor following World War II, she continued her attempt to prevent young people, especially girls, from making wrong moral choices with regard to their sexuality. Poltawska's husband told an interviewer that since the time spent as a Nazi prisoner, his wife had been “fighting for human dignity”.[5]

Ravensbrück

Two years after the start of World War II, Wanda Poltawska entered the unknown, the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women. Ravensbrück was truly a mysterious and unheard of place, deliberately built by the Nazi party in a secluded area with a relatively small population.[6] The camp’s primary purpose was to incarcerate women for political affiliations or criminal activity, individuals who were deemed disruptive and against the established National Socialist German Workers' Party. With their meticulously planned campaign to destroy any political or spiritual loyalty other than to the race-nation, the Nazis hoped to “reeducate” all those that had fallen under their power.[7] Therefore, no form of criticism and nonconformity was accepted as it would directly be against the Nazi vision of an unified racial collective world. Political prisoner, such as Communists, Social Democrats, and resistance group members, were equally dangerous to the Nazi vision of the world as criminal prisoners. Criminal prisoners as convicts were considered among society's “undesirables”, and therefore they needed to be separated and in some cases eliminated for the good of the Nazi nation. Similarly, homosexuals were seen as socially unacceptable while the spiritual adherence of the Jehovah's Witnesses posed a threat to the conformity of the Third Reich. In the concentration camp system, each group was identified with a colored badge. The specific identification of groups by color and shape can be found HERE).

Barracks at Ravensbrück.[8]

The camp initially consisted of twenty barracks, referred to by many as “Blocks”, although additional barracks were added when the original twenty proved inadequate for the growing prisoner population.[9] As Poltawska comments in her memoir, “That mass of women…It seemed so impossibly overcrowded to us then; yet, before the camp had finished with us, there would be five times our present number crowded into a barracks of equal size.”[10] Beside the outrageous overcrowding, prisoners were also subjected to extreme temperatures, constant filth from overflowing lavatory buckets, as well as to the rampant spread of various diseases within the “Blocks”. The cell building was a fundamental element in the concentration camp system, as it not only determined the daily life in the camp, but also enforced the ceaseless terror of punishment and the possibility of death. Ironically, the cell building also served as the prisoner’s safe haven, a place to escape from the watchful eyes of the overseers and SS administration, allowing prisoners some precious and much needed rest as their normal day was filled from morning till the evening with with a maximum amount of activity found in such tedious tasks as transporting boulders to a top of a hill or digging trenches and ditches in the sand. Even though the conditions of the barracks were far from comforting, the prisoners of Ravensburck looked forward to returning to their prescribed “home”. Inside their barrack, the women could freely talk amongst themselves, reminisce about their lives and families outside the camp, and share their hopes for the future. In addition, women could enjoy smuggled objects in the limited privacy of the barrack. For example, in her memoir Wanda recollects the nights the women spent reading a smuggled copy of Pan Tadeusz, Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem that is also considered the national epic of Poland.

Arriving

A feeling of relief and hope marked the unexpected transport of Wanda Poltawska and other Polish political prisoners from the Lublin prison to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Unaware of the implications and conditions of the camp, Wanda believed that her entrance into the new environment was a release from her terrible prison days. However, she soon realized her entrance into the camp on September 23rd of 1941 was far from welcoming, as the reality of camp life was immediately made evident in the lifeless figures of the prisoners that moped slowly throughout the camp. Although Poltawska already understood that the camp was to be infinitely worse than the Lublin prison, she in no way let her realization devastate her as she relied on her strong religous faith in God in order to persevere the reality of the camp. She not only felt obligated to stay strong and firm for her own sake, but also in order to protect her innocent and younger friend Krysia. In a 2003 lecture, Wanda Poltawska revealed her thoughts on motherhood, a topic that was relevant to her relationship with Krysia. The essence of her life as a woman as well as her obedience toward God was found in her acceptance of motherhood. Although not taking care of her biological child in the case of Krysia, Poltawska believed she expressed her sense of motherhood by caring for those around her.[11] The extent of this responsibility is illustrated as she notes, “Responsible. A powerful word… I felt responsible for ensuring that Krysia should one day return home. I don’t really know why. But I determined then, as I was to do so often in future years, that she, at least, must return.”[12] This close-bound friendship became one of the most significant and defining points to Poltawska’s survival as it created an indestructible support system between the two young women while giving Poltawska an invaluable cause to fight for.

A Sense of Unity

With the majority of the barracks categorized by nationality, national identity was naturally strengthened as women shared a common language, value system, and way of life. Throughout her memoir, Poltawska speaks of and illustrates the prevailing sense of union and interconnection particularly apparent among the Poles. Marked by the red triangle badge, all the Polish women in the Ravensbrück concentration camp were political prisoners sharing a deep sense of nationalism. Among all the nationalities present in the Ravensbrück camp, the Polish women came closest to reflecting a cross-section of their own society, an approach that allowed them to create an efficient and extraordinary system of mutual aid and protection for one another.[13] As the majority of the Polish women were devout Catholics, Poltawska and her fellow prisoners were propelled to live with the values they had practiced outside of the camp. Their pull for order allowed the women to hold mass inside the barracks, create a network of families to give comfort to their members, as well as organize a vast assortment of educational programs.[14] The Nazi oppressors had taken away almost everything they could from their prisoners. However, the women prisoners found substitutes and made adjustments to attain some level of normality, pleasure, and order in their lives. With such actions, the women were able to hold some level of control and independence from the restricting Nazi regime. Although obedient and submissive on the outside, the women prisoners found ways to secretly spite their perpetrators and their ideal Nazi world. The women prisoners were conscious of their ability to achieve more in life than just hard, forced labor. Any education efforts were severely punished even outside the camp system, yet in the concentration camp Poltawska discovered “the suicidal courage of people who could act as they chose because they knew that by tomorrow they could be dead”.[15] Poltawska mentions the presence of a number of teachers and professors within the barrack, an arrangement that allowed her to receive private lessons in human anatomy in order to fulfill her promise of becoming a doctor if she survived Ravensbrück.

The Polish women of the Ravensbrück camp ultimately achieved an enviable level of power and importance in the camp, holding such positions as block senior and leader. These positions provided them with multiple key connections to goods and services. Only when the original Polish block ceased to exist by being divided among other blocks did the true level of interconnection and interdependence between the Polish women become apparent. Poltawska sorrowfully commented on the division of the barrack stating, “No longer were we in spotless Polish block, and we understood too late the mutual tolerance with which our girls had conducted their quarrels, the extraordinary refinement of their conversation.”[16] Linked with their national traditions, common language, and ever-present Catholic faith, the Polish women found it more comforting to interact with one another than with the other prisoners. They not only had difficulty communicating with the other prisoners but also believed them to have a completely different mentality from their own. Reflections made by Wanda Poltawska throughout her memoir show her to be a proud Polish woman with virtues and prejudices common of many other Polish women of her generation. Throughout her memoirs, Wanda Poltawska describes the Polish prisoners and other Slavic prisoners as more courageous and nobler than the women prisoners from Western nations, specifically those from liberal France. Poltawska comments with distaste when describing the French women, who unlike the Slavic women, refused to wash and instead dedicated their time to painting their faces with beet juice. With the Polish barrack no longer existing, Poltawska was among the group of Polish women integrated into the block known as LL, the initials of lesbian love. Continually terrorized by the lesbians, Wanda Poltawska summarizes her experiences in block LL as Hell, a place only slightly less terrifying than the block where the medical experiments were performed. Poltawska believed in the importance of preserving the core values of Catholicism, especially under the extreme situations presented during the war. Therefore, lesbianism for Poltawska became “a hideous, inhumane reality” from which she was trying to protect her young and innocent friend Krysia.[17] Forced to witness acts that destroyed her faith in innocence, Wanda Poltawska was constantly offered propositions to engage intimately with other women. Although Poltawska was openly disgusted by the homoerotic relationships within the barrack, lesbian relationships offered many women a source of affection that directly removed the overbearing feelings of loneliness.[18] Within the camp system, many found these relationships natural, making some bonds between women permanent.

Medical Experiments and Resistance

Roll call at sunrise, physically and mentally exhausting labor, and the constant pain of hunger became routine to Wanda Poltawska’s daily life in Ravensbrück. In July 1942, a new and unimaginable element of torture was added to her struggle for survival. Wanda Poltawska was one of the first six women chosen by SS medical doctors to undergo a series of experimental operations. Poltawska and her fellow prisoners were forced to sacrifice their limbs in order to test new medicines that were to benefit injured German soldiers fighting on the front. The German physicians found the medical experiments performed on these women a direct benefit for both the war effort and medical research. By the time Ravensbrück was liberated in 1945, the number of “human guinea pigs” totaled seventy-five.[19] With the exception of one victim, all the women experimented on were Polish political prisoners, who were seen to be especially disruptive with their radical adherence and nationalism. Many of the Polish women used in the experiments were to be originally executed in the Lublin prison. Instead of an immediate execution, the Nazis sent some of the women political prisoners to Ravensbrück, with an already devised plan to use them later for medical experiments.

Being relatively healthy and strong, Wanda Poltawska was dumfounded to why she and others were being summoned to the camp’s hospital, the rewir. The overwhelming belief was that the rewir call was summoning the young women to their extermination. Instead, each prisoner was faced with a destructive leg operation, which involved injecting strains of bacteria into the leg, severing muscles, and even breaking bones.[20] Other than the actual leg that was operated on, the German physicians deemed the prisoners subjected to the experiments worthless. Wanda Poltawska and her fellow prisoners were given little if any medical attention immediately following the operations, leaving them alone to face the agonizing effects of the deliberate operations. Crippled and hardly able to carry herself, Wanda Poltawska could not ignore the desperate cries of her fellow prisoners. Believing women to be protectors of life, Poltawska also found women capable of much greater love for others. As a woman she felt it was her prescribed role to take care of her fellow prisoners claiming that women had "nothing to gain from bringing themselves down to the level of men and trying to be like men".[21] In her deplorable physical state, Poltawska ignored her own sufferings to attend and comfort those surrounding her. Even though she directly interacted and faced her medical perpetrators, Poltawska continued to believe that there was some good in every human being and was determined to prove it herself.

To Wanda, the experiments went beyond the physical pain. She had experienced something terribly new; a realization to the extent humanity can lose all sense of control and awareness. Although she had initially felt utterly powerless in having to endure the operations, the experiments awakened an uncontrollable persistence to survive. The Nazis had the power to control every aspect of Poltawska's existence in the constraints of the camp, yet knowledge pertaining to the state of her existence in the outside world would leave Poltawska and her fellow prisoners with the power. Wanda became insistent on countering her sense of helplessness by making sure the outside world was aware of what was happening. The Nazis, aware of the dangers found in information leaking into the outside world, became especially attentive on destroying the human evidence of their experimentation. Poltawska, being the living proof of the horrors of Ravensbrück, would not allow and accept elimination of her existence in passivity. Wanda states in her memoir, “We would find it easier to die if we could be certain that news of our deaths would reach the world outside.”[22] Her humiliation and vulnerability were to be eliminated with her decisive proclamation: enough was enough.

As the medical experiments intensified and took the lives of several prisoners, the Polish women of barrack 15 were discovering a growing sense of their own power. When a list summoning new women to the rewir was issued, the women refused to comply and hid among the barracks of the camp. A group of representatives from the Polish barrack presented a petition directly to the commandment in order to protest the continuance of the experiments. Poltawska was completely aware of the possible consequences involved in signing the petition, but what mattered most to her was making a stand. She no longer was to be the submissive “guinea pig”. She still and always was a human being. As Poltawska explains in her memoir:

      “In a few brief sentences we stated that we, the undersigned
       political  prisoners, wished to know whether the commandment 
       was aware that experiments were being performed on completely 
       healthy women in this camp- all of them political prisoners. 
       We stated that these experiments had led to maiming and even
       death- here we gave the names of those who had died as a result 
       of the experiments; the international law forbade experiments 
       on human beings without their consent; and that we, the victims,
       hereby registered a formal protest against the research."[23]   
                            

Wanda and her fellow prisoners even arranged for the transport of a camera with film into camp, which allowed them to take photographs of their mutilated legs in order to reveal the truth to the outside world. When another list summoning the “human guinea pigs” to their execution was presented, the living proofs of the evils performed within the camp were protected and even transported out of the camp through the efforts of the entire camp population. The women were strategically hid throughout various barracks in the camp, while roll call involved constant shuffling in order to hide the disfigured legs of the “human guinea pig". When it came to smuggling the women out of the camp, fellow prisoners collected the identification numbers of dead prisoners in order for the women to leave the camp undetected and with a new identification. Poltawska along with Krysia were among the saved “guinea pigs” transported to the small camp of Neustadt-Glewe, where they remained at till the end of the war. In the meticulously regulated and organized concentration camp, such a feat seemed unfeasible, yet the former resistance fighters used their past system of organization to divide tasks amongst themselves, secretively distribute information within the camp, and take advantage of every opportunity to successfully transport the women out of the camp while still acting relatively normal under the watchful eyes of the SS guards. In this way the women of Ravensbrück defeated the concentration camp system along with the helplessness it originally imposed.

Additional Information on the Medical Experiments Performed in Ravensbrück

After Ravensbrück

Wanda Poltawska with Pope John Paul II.[24]

After the war, Wanda Poltawska returned to her hometown of Lublin. Although physically free from the bounds of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, mentally Poltawska remained tormented by her experiences, leaving her unable to sleep in order to avoid reliving the ordeal in her nightmares. Taking the advice of a trusted teacher, Wanda whole-heartedly wrote everything down in order to reclaim her priceless freedom, the freedom that the camp had so violently withheld from her for so long. In completing her memoir, Wanda recovered her sleep and rightfully regained her freedom. There was no notion of vulnerability as she was able to direct and handle her experiences rather than the occurrences tormenting her. Writing became Poltawska's self-therapy, an outlet to relieve her suppressed issues. Poltawska converted the images and emotions that tormented her into words, allowing her to construct a coherent narrative of her experiences. By writing her memoir, Poltawska was able to summarize, analyze, and assimilate the entire experience more efficiently, reducing the stress and torment associated with the traumatic happenings. Poltawska did acknowledge that sharing her problems with family members might have also helped her, but she did not want to burden her loved ones with the realities of the concentration camp. In her memoirs she reveals she wished she had a brother, then perhaps she could have talked about her experiences with a “strong man”.[25] It was not uncommon for Polish women of Poltawska's generation to have such a frame of mind, as they were brought up in the tradition of idealizing strong men as protectors and defenders of women, their families, and their fatherland.

Wanda Poltawska’s experience as a Ravensbrück “human guinea pig” made her openly concerned about how human life and human dignity were seen and measured after the war. Poltawska confronted many of these issues by fulfilling her vow of becoming a doctor by qualifying as a physician in 1951. Believing psychiatry to be the most humane medicine, as it is devoted to helping individuals mature, Poltawska dedicated much of her time working with the younger population traumatized by the concentration camp system. In facing the complete perversion and manipulation of humanity in Ravensbrück, Poltawska was set on establishing and reaffirming the true beauty and potential of humans. Just as she had felt responsible in protecting Krysia, Poltawska felt equally obligated to guide the misunderstood and forgotten “Auschwitz children”. In conquering her own demons, Wanda Poltawska was able to relate to and comprehend the sufferings of these young adults, honestly providing them with the personal guidance and reassurance they longed for.

Poltawska deepened her call by focusing on the moral choices made by young adults with regard to their sexuality. In surviving Ravensbrück, Wanda Poltawska reaffirmed and defined her intense Catholic devotion by examining a number of these sensitive issues concerning sex and sexuality. In seeing the vast and unnecessary loss of life during the war, Poltawska became a strong opponent of contraception and abortion, believing that the processes only continued the mass murder of the innocent. For someone who was a victim of Nazi experimentation, it is not farfetched to conclude that contraception can undermine respect for life and possibly lead to greater abuses. Finding parallels to the Nazi experimentation in Ravensbrück, she warned against doctors who have once again been given “life-or-death powers over the human embryo” and who perform experiments on living embryos.[26] She actively publicized in Poland the alleged harmful medical effects of artificial contraception, claiming it to be the first step to abortion. Believing women to be God-appointed protectors of life, Wanda Poltawska considered abortion the heaviest burden and disgrace for a woman.[27]However, her claims that “the use of contraception leads to neurosis” have not been supported by any scientifically accepted proofs. Most of her articles have been published in publications put out by Church groups focusing on pro-life. Her featured articles mostly examine the topics of: idealism of youth, hysterical mothers forcing young women to get abortions, naivete of young girls, the suffering of women who miscarry, young people destroying their lives as a result of sexual promiscuity, and men seen as sexual predators.[28]

Due to her religious and ethical stands on human sexuality, Wanda Poltawska became one of the closest advisers of Pope John Paul II. Wanda Poltawska became such a close friend of Pope John Paul II as they both viewed most of today's moral choices through their war experiences. Offering him continual advice that influenced his views and decisions on many key issues in the Roman Catholic Church, the little known Wanda Poltawska will have an ever-lasting presence in the generally patriarchal institution. Wojtyla's own statements and views on national character, human dignity, women, sexuality, and abortion are reflected in Poltawska's writings.


For additional readings and information on women in the concentration camp system look at Margarete Buber-Neumann and Charlotee Delbo.

Notes

  1. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_f8EgWXcw31s/Sd8h4u4b2MI/AAAAAAAAAYo/-PgX8BzhaFA/s400/05A.jpg&imgrefurl=http://kwarcphoto.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html&usg=__t6Au25gCcPKsOakc7vL-oqCkJrU=&h=267&w=400&sz=20&hl=pl&start=58&zoom=1&tbnid=E6kgGCzJttiooM:&tbnh=83&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwanda%2Bpoltawska%26start%3D40%26hl%3Dpl%26sa%3DN%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1
  2. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 17.
  3. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 15.
  4. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 303.
  5. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 303.
  6. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 15.
  7. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 245.
  8. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y19/JackaNoodle/Holocaust/Ravensbruck_camp_barracks.jpg&imgrefurl=http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php%3Fubb%3Ddownload%26Number%3D764683%26filename%3DRighteous%2520Among%2520the%2520Nations.kmz&usg=__C3i49mVXZsTzEUJNkd4ZWVNQ2Vw=&h=362&w=480&sz=33&hl=pl&start=7&zoom=1&tbnid=lhdMEBHkarGgUM:&tbnh=97&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dravensbruck%2Bbarracks%26hl%3Dpl%26sa%3DX%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1
  9. Eschebach, Insa. Ravensbrück : The Cell Building. Berlin : Metropol, 2005, 17.
  10. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 40.
  11. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 308.
  12. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 34.
  13. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 90.
  14. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 91.
  15. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 304.
  16. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 57.
  17. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 305.
  18. Jensen, Erik N. “The Pink Triangle and Political Consciousness: Gays, Lesbians, and the Memory of Nazi Persecution.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 11 (Jan. - Apr., 2002): pp. 319-349..
  19. Morrison, Jack G. Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp 1939-45. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, 246.
  20. Machlejd, Wanda, ed. Experimental Operations on Prisoners of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Warsaw: Zachodnia Agencja Prasowa, 1960, 10.
  21. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 309.
  22. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 110.
  23. Poltawska, Wanda. And I am Afraid of My Dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987) 113.
  24. http://www.corrieredelsud.it/site/uploads/article/image/wanda%20poltawska%20con%20giovanni%20paolo%20ii%20e%20un%20nipotino.jpg
  25. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 307.
  26. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 307.
  27. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 309.
  28. Lipien, Ted. Wojtyla’s Women. Washington: O Books, 2008, 307.

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