Archive for the ‘Stanislawa Leszczynska’ Category

The Midwife of Auschwicz

December 7, 2008

Stanislawa Zambrzyska was a Polish woman, a midwife by trade, who was imprisoned at Auschwicz. She was ordered by the Nazi doctors there to deliver — and then kill — the babies born of pregnant inmates.  She delivered some 3000 of them in horrendous conditions, but had the stunning courage to refuse instructions directly to the face of the imfamous Dr. Megele himself to kill a single one. 

Though the task of baby-killing was performed by another woman in the camp (I think there’ s a soul we could whisper a silent prayer for right now), Stanislawa did as much as she could to save those she could.  And she did a great deal to bring as much compassion as possible to the mothers forced to deliver their children in hell.

One inmate recounts:

“For weeks she never had a chance to lie down. She sometimes sat down near a patient on the oven, dozed for a moment, but soon jumped up and ran to one of the moaning women. . . . When Mrs. Leszczynska first approached me, I knew that everything would be alright.

I do not know why, but this was so. My baby managed to last three months in the camp, but seemed doomed to die of starvation. I was completely devoid of milk. ‘Mother’ somehow found two women to wet-nurse my baby, an Estonian and a Russian. To this day I do not know at what price [she did this]. My Liz owes her life to Stanislawa Leszczynska. I cannot think of her without tears coming to my eyes.”

That clip is from a remarkable article by Matthew M. Anger, posted yesterday by Spero News.  Read the whole thing, but brace yourself; it’s not easy.

It concludes by noting the growing devotion among Catholics in Poland to this remarkable woman, and her possible future beatification:

Since she passed away in 1974, there has been growing devotion to Stanislawa Leszczynska in Poland. Pilgrimages are organized to her grave, while materials are being compiled as evidence for her process of beatification. She was commemorated in a “Chalice of Life,” offered to the famous Czestochowa shrine at Jasna Gora by Polish women in May 1982, and in 1983 the Krakow School for Obstetricians was named in her honor.

Numerous people have attested to favors obtained through her intercession, particularly in connection with child-birth problems. As Prof. Giertych concludes, “The life of Stanislawa Leszczynska is that of an exemplary mother and devoted midwife. Thus she is especially suited to be a patron of the fight for life against the child murderers who, just as in the concentration camps, continue to ply their deadly trade.”

Sounds like a beatification well worth praying for.