We restore the memory of prisoners of KL Ravensbrück

Representatives of the Niegosławice Memorial Forum Association commemorated Polish prisoners of the German concentration camp Ravensbrück, who were imprisoned in the branch in Naubrandenburg, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Licheń.

A few-year-old Halina Wożgin saw her mother, Maria Ratajczak, for the last time during World War II, when the woman was arrested. Hearing about her is lost. Years later, Mrs. Wożgin's grandson, 6-year-old Arkadiusz Szlachetko promised that he would find his great-grandmother and he kept his promise. Maria Ratajczak was sent to the German concentration camp in Ravensbrück - a branch in Neubrandenburg.

In the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Licheń, Queen of Poland, a solemn commemoration of female prisoners took place. Holy Mass in front of the miraculous Picture of Our Lady of Lichen, Fr. Janusz Kumala, MIC, the curator of the Lichen sanctuary, who recalled the tragic history of KL Ravensbrück during his homily. - In the face of these terrible stories one must adopt a Christian attitude. It is necessary to remember what previous generations experienced and clearly point to those who were the perpetrators of suffering and death. You cannot build the future without remembering the past in truth - the curator emphasized how important it is to pass on history in families. However, not to be angry and judge, but to forgive. - Once is not enough, we must constantly forgive those who hurt us, were our torturers. We are not to pay back with evil, but with forgiveness. Only God can give such a grace. Therefore, the third attitude is prayer. First, for those who gave their lives for their homeland, for our freedom and independence. But also a prayer that such painful moments in the lives of all nations in the world will never be repeated. We have to care for peace, which is a gift of God - Fr. Kumala recalled that under the image of Our Lady of Lichen in the basilica there was an inscription: "Queen of Poland, grant peace to our days!". - The sanctuary is a special place for building peace and calling for peace. In our families, our homeland and with other nations. The future for us Christians is always God, he said.

After the Eucharist, the participants of the ceremony went to the Lichen Golgotha, where there is a plaque commemorating 45 female prisoners of the German concentration camp in Ravensbrück - a branch in Neubrandenburg, Polish women resting in a mass grave, who died in 1944-1945. Women died there from overwork, starvation and many diseases. Throughout the post-war years until 2017, this place was unknown, forgotten. - While looking for traces of my great-grandmother Maria Ratajczak, documents were found in Lund, Sweden, which made it possible to establish the identity of the women, so that the grave would cease to be anonymous. On March 8, 2018, a plaque with the names of prisoners was unveiled on it, said the prisoner's great-grandson. Maria Ratajczak was given the camp number 81182, she died on April 14, 1945.

The plaque in the Licheń sanctuary was unveiled by Halina Wożgin, the daughter of a prisoner, and Rafał Reczek, director of the branch of the Institute of National Remembrance in Poznań, and the memorial site was blessed by Rev. Janusz Kumala, MIC. Young people from the Niegosławice commune read the names of 45 Polish female prisoners of a German concentration camp.


The ceremony was attended by Joanna Gierczyńska, head of the Pawiak Prison Museum in Warsaw, Branch of the Museum of Independence in Warsaw, Urszula and Ryszard Kowalski, representatives of the Social Committee of the Celebrations on June 14, Jan Kosiński, mayor of the Niegosławice commune. 

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