Chawka Folman-Raban (19.04.1924–09.01.2014)

activist of the resistance movement in the Warsaw ghetto


Chawka Folman-Raban was born on April 19, 1924 in Kielce. In the Warsaw ghetto, she was an activist of Dror, a youth organization associated with the Zionist-socialist party Poalei Zion, as well as a student of the underground gymnasium run by this organization. She lived at ul. Dzielna 43, then Dzielna 34, at the headquarters of Dror. As an underground liaison officer, she traveled to many cities in occupied Poland. She was arrested in December 1942 in Krakow as a result of an attempted attack by members of the Jewish Combat Organization on the Cyganeria cafe. Using false documents in the name of Emma Marciniak, after interrogations, she was recognized as a Pole helping Jews and deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Then she was sent to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück, where she was liberated. After the end of the war, she returned to Poland, and in 1947 she emigrated to Palestine. She participated in the co-organization of the Lochamei ha-Geta’ot kibbutz – the Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz, of which she later lived for many years.

“My name is Chawka … I was called Ewa at home. … I was proud to be a Warsaw resident. In the underground and on the Aryan side I had documents under the name of Emma Marciniak. … Around us, in Warsaw, everything changed. Our current world has collapsed. We found ourselves in a closed ghetto. The hunger was increasing constantly. The winter of 1940/41 was extremely hard. Hundreds of people died of hunger and cold every day. In the streets of the ghetto, there were corpses of skeletal people who fell asleep covered with a newspaper and did not wake up anymore”. This is how she described the ghetto in her book ‘I Have Not Parted With Them’.

She died on January 9, 2014 in Israel.

translated by Adam Grossman