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Wanda Stachiewicz's Geni Profile

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Wanda Stachiewicz (Abraham)

Also Known As: "Maria Wanda Aleksandra Stachiewiczowa z Abrahamów"
Birthdate: (99)
Birthplace: Lwów, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine
Death: July 08, 1995 (99)
Montreal, Montreal, Québec, Canada
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Dr. Wladyslaw Henryk Franciszek Abraham and Stanislawa Elzbieta Abraham
Wife of Wacław Teofil Stachiewicz
Mother of Private; Julius Stachiewicz and ? Stachiewicz
Sister of Roman Abraham

Occupation: artist, writer, philanthropist, founder of the Polish Library at McGill
Managed by: Pip de P. James
Last Updated:

About Wanda Stachiewicz

Wanda STACHIEWICZ/STACHIEWICZOWA, née ABRAHAM/ABRAHAMÓW: b. 12 Dec 1895, Lwów - d. 8 July 1995, Montreal

Various sources, including the following:

Maria Wanda Aleksandra Stachiewiczowa z Abrahamów

Maria Wanda Aleksandra Stachiewiczowa z Abrahamów

1895-12-12 - 1995-07-08

Stachiewiczowa z Abrahamów Maria Wanda Aleksandra (1895–1995), działaczka społeczna, współzałożycielka i sekretarz Polskiego Instytutu Naukowego w Kanadzie, założycielka i kustosz Biblioteki Polskiej w Montrealu. Ur. 12 XII we Lwowie, była córką Władysława Abrahama, historyka, profesora Uniwersytetu Lwowskiego, oraz Stanisławy z Reissów (Reyssów), działaczki katolickiego ruchu kobiecego, siostrą Romana Abrahama, generała Wojska Polskiego.


And also ...

Wanda Stachiewicz championed Polish cause through hardships of World War II

obituaries archive

Wanda Stachiewicz championed Polish cause through hardships of World War II


Published: 25 July 1995 Written by Bruce Barton - Town Crier Staff Writer

As the daughter of an acclaimed Polish historian and professor, Wanda Stachiewicz's work in social services earned her the country's highest civilian honor and brought her into contact with a man named Adolf Hitler. "She didn't want to shake his hand," said Mathilde Stark of Los Altos, Mrs. Stachiewicz's daughter-in-law. So Mrs. Stachiewicz avoided the formality by mingling with diplomats across the room from the German dictator. Mrs. Stachiewicz, whose work in the Polish community earned numerous accolades over seven decades, died July 8 in Montreal, Canada. She was 99. Mrs. Stachiewicz had spent every winter since 1974 in Los Altos with son, Bob, and Mathilde Stack.

Born in Lwow, Poland, Mrs. Stachiewicz earned a master's degree in the history of civilization from the University of Lwow and continued studies toward a doctorate at Sorbonne University in Paris. Her father was the internationally famous historian Dr. Ladislas Abraham, who also was chancellor of the University of Lwow. In 1921, Mrs. Stachiewicz married Col. Waclaw Stachiewicz who later became chief of staff for the Polish Army. After World War I, she devoted much of her time to the "White Cross," a social services organization established to combat illiteracy and teach Polish history and citizenship to draftees of the Polish Armed Forces prior to their discharge. In 1937, Mrs. Stachiewicz received the Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish government, the highest Polish civilian decoration.

Besides Hitler, Mrs. Stachiewicz's travels also brought her into contact with Pope John Paul II, whom she met when he was a cardinal.

Mrs. Stachiewicz served with the Women's Auxiliary Services as a liaison officer attached to the General Staff during the 1939 invasion of Poland. Separated from her husband, she escaped with her children to France, and then to England after the fall of France. When a German invasion of England became a distinct possibility, Mrs. Stachiewicz, her three children in tow, relocated in Montreal in 1940. She found employment with the International Labor Office and became deeply involved in welfare work and in helping refugees from Western Europe. Her work with McGill University, including lectures on the life and culture of Poland, resulted in the establishment of a Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Montreal in 1943.

In 1946, she founded the Polish Library at McGill, which she headed for more than 40 years until her retirement in the 1980s. In 1984, in recognition of her service, institute officials decided to name the library, "The Wanda Stachiewicz Polish Library" in her honor.

In addition to the Golden Cross of Merit, Mrs. Stachiewicz also received the Gold medal of the Canadian-Polish Congress for "outstanding cultural, patriotic and philantropic work."

Mrs. Stachiewicz published her memoirs, "Journey Through History," in 1988, and exerpts from the book were featured in a March 1988 Town Crier. Mrs. Stachiewicz included accounts of narrow escapes from the Nazis, fleeing from her homeland on foot and hiding her children in the French countryside. She was separated from her husband for nine years, from 1939 to 1948, because of the war. "Because he was second in command in Poland, he was very much wanted," she recalled. "He probably would have been executed if he had stayed in Europe." Mrs. Stachiewicz is survived by one son, Bob Stack, a resident of Los Altos since 1959, six grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Services were held July 15 in Montreal.

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Wanda Stachiewicz's Timeline

December 12, 1895
Lviv, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine
Age 28
July 8, 1995
Age 99
Montreal, Montreal, Québec, Canada