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ISSN: 1233-9687
Polish Journal of Pathology
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vol. 61

Non Omnis Moriar
In memoriam of Professor Maria Kobuszewska-Faryna (1920-2009)

Krzysztof Bardadin

Pol J Pathol 2010; 1: 1-7
Online publish date: 2010/05/12
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Maria Kobuszewska was born in Warsaw on January 5, 1920. Her father Edward was a clerk in the National Savings Bank, while up till Poland’s liberation in 1918, her mother Alina was a homemaker and raised their three children (daughters Maria and Hanna and son Jan). Maria’s happy childhood and adolescence were spent in the Warsaw district of Bródno, in the Leonia Rudzka School for Girls, where she graduated in 1937. A careful reader of a book written by Maria’s sister Hanna (Hanna Zborowska née Kobuszewska: “Humour in the genes”. Kowalska/Stiasny, 2002) may get a glimpse of and understand the atmosphere of those days and learn of the extremely rich life of the family in which Maria Kobuszewska grew up and which shaped her personality. The extremely strong family ties were for her the key to her future life.
After graduation, Maria enrolled in Warsaw University as a student at the Faculty of Law, yet after one year, she resigned and became a medical student of the same university. Unfortunately, World War II broke out, the university was closed down and the horror of Nazi occupation began. Everybody, especially young people, had to work somewhere – anywhere – to be issued the ausweis, a document which supposedly protected its bearer from detention and arrest. Maria Kobuszewska started to work in a pharmacy in Marszałkowska Street, where she held the lowest possible position of an unskilled pharmacy technician involved in packaging portions of pharmaceuticals. In 1941, she resumed her studies, interrupted by the war, enrolling in the “Vocational School for Support Sanitary Personnel” owned by J. Zaorski; the school was in reality the underground Faculty of Medicine of Warsaw University. But the crucial moment in her life was most likely her being arrested together with other participants of courses organized by J. Zaorski in March 1943 and her several-week long imprisonment in Pawiak Prison. She emerged afterwards very much changed; a cheerful young girl was replaced by a mature woman with well-established views. Quoting her sister Hanna, Maria “rested in an active way and the maxim coined by Rychłowski (former head of the Leonia Rudzka School) ‘in work you will find rest for your spirit’” suited her perfectly well. Having been released from prison, Maria again assumed her interrupted studies, this time attending clandestine classes organized by Warsaw University in the...

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