Anna Margolis (1892–10.06.1987)

phytoso-pediatrician, professor of medical sciences and pedagogue

She was born into a Jewish family in Łódź, the daughter of a merchant, Karol Markson and Rebecca, née Cukierzys. She graduated from high school in St. Petersburg and studied medicine at the College of Bonn. As her daughter Alina describes, “she had only one problem: professors did not recognize women at the college, and my mother and her friend from Paris, the only two female students, had to listen to lectures sitting on the floor behind the rows of desks – hidden behind their colleagues’ backs. If the professor noticed a female student, he would interrupt his lecture and leave the room.”

With a diploma in pediatrics, she returned to Łódź and began working at Anna Maria Hospital (now the Korczak Hospital). She married a doctor and social activist, Aleksander Margolis. She gave birth to two children – daughter Alina (the future wife of Marek Edelman, the heroine of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) and son Jan, who were the role models of Ali and Olek from Primer Marian Falski, her parents’ friends.

After the outbreak of the war and the death of her husband, who was shot by the Germans, Anna Margolisowa moved with her children to Warsaw, where they were resettled in the ghetto. She became the head of the tuberculosis ward in the children’s hospital of Bersons and Baumans. In the ghetto she conducted secret educational and student internships and was also an activist of the Society for the Care of Mother and Child “Drops of Milk”. She sent the so-called Aryan side of the two children, which she joined a week before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She hid with her daughter Alina in the apartment of the Tomaszewicz family at Twarda St.

After the war she returned to Łódź, where in 1946, on behalf of the Łódź City Hall, she organized the tuberculosis sanatorium for children in the Łagiewniki district, which she also ran while working at the tuberculosis institute. In 1950 she was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. She was a co-founder of the anti-tuberculosis law and an honorary member of the Polish Society of Phtiopneumology. A professor of medical sciences and a respected educator, she trained a large group of phthisopneumologists. She died on 10 June 1987 in Łódź, where she was buried in the municipal cemetery in Doły.