We bid farewell to Halina Paszkowska

It is with great sorrow that we bid farewell to Halina Paszkowska, an incredible person, Holocaust Survivor, participant of the Warsaw Uprising, and outstanding filmmaker – privately, the wife of Marian Turski, chairman of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland. She passed away on March 26, 2017, in Warsaw, at the age of 89.

Halina Paszkowska was born on June 10, 1927, in Warsaw to an assimilated Jewish family living in Stara Ochota. During the German occupation, she had to move to the ghetto along with her sister and parents (the area of Nowolipie Street). Before the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto, the whole family managed to escape to the “Aryan” side. They moved in with relatives near Sandomierz, from where they were again forced to flee. The daughters were sent to Kraków, while the parents, along with the other Jewish inhabitants of the town, were deported to Treblinka. Fortunately, they managed to escape from the transport. After a while, the family reunited in Warsaw. Unfortunately, shortly after their return, Halina’s mother was captured by the Germans in a roundup. Halina’s father found shelter with friends in Wołomin. In the first hours of the Warsaw Uprising, Halina joined the Krybar Battalion as a volunteer in the 3rd group – Konrad, 2nd company, the Rafałki platoon. She was a liaison, nom de guerre “Lusia.” After the defeat of the uprising, she went to Łódź with her father and sister, where she embarked on fast-track study. She enrolled in engineering at the Łódź Polytechnic, and graduated from the Warsaw Polytechnic. After completing her university studies, she began working at the Documentary Film Studios in Warsaw (today the Documentary and Feature Film Studios).

Throughout the 55 years of her career, from 1952 to 2007, she was actively involved in Polish cinematography. She produced the sound to over 200 documentary films and around 20 feature films as well as several editions of Polska Kronika Filmowa (Polish Film Chronicle). She worked with Andrzej Munk, Roman Polański, Jerzy Hoffman, Kazimierz Karabasz and many other outstanding filmmakers. Her work can be admired in masterpieces such as Eroica, Knife in the Water and Muzykanci.

Laureate of the Association of Polish Filmmakers Prize for the entirety of her artistic achievements (2010), Halina Paszkowska was also honored with the Golden Cross of Merit, the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Insurgent Cross.

She was an extremely humble and generous person. Her strength of spirit and persistence are an inspiration to us. She will be greatly missed.

We unite in grief with her Family and extend our condolences.


More about the wartime fate of Halina Paszkowska: