Pnina Grynszpan-Frymer (1923–17.11.2016)

activist of the resistance movement during World War II, heroine of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

She was born as the youngest of seven siblings in 1923 in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, where she graduated from the Jewish elementary school. Her father, the owner of carts and horses, worked with the transportation of goods. In 1939, the Grynszpan family moved to Warsaw, but Pnina returned to Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki in the early spring of 1941 and lived in the ghetto, in the so-called Piaski. During this period, she worked with deforestation in Modlin. In June 1941, she moved to Legionowo, and then to Warsaw, to her brother Dawid. In the autumn of the same year, Pnina was joined by her mother and brother Zygmunt. All three siblings worked in the carpentry workshop in Landau’s shed on Gęsia 75-79 St.

At the end of 1942, thanks to Hersz Berliński, Pnina joined the Jewish Combat Organization, and in December 1942, in Landau’s shop, Pnina’s conspiratorial “five” was established. After armed clashes between the ZOB and the Germans in January 1943, the battle groups were barracked and Pnina found herself at Świętojerska St. After the fall of the uprising, on May 10, 1943, she managed to leave the ghetto through the sewers at Prosta Street, together with the surviving ŻOB fighters in a group led by Szymon Ratajzer “Kazik”. She was transported to the forests by Łomianki, near Warsaw. Until July 1944 she fought in the paramilitary in the Wyszków forests.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, she returned to Warsaw, where she was hiding in a rented apartment at ul. Rakowiecka 24 together with three ŻOB fighters. After the outbreak of the uprising, she was stopped by the Germans and taken to Aleja Szucha. Together with other Polish women, she was released and got to the side of the Uprising fighters, but was then arrested again, this time by insurgents who accused her of espionage. She was saved by an officer who knew her brother, but she had to stay in an apartment with other Jews and she was regularly inspected.

After the fall of the uprising, she remained in Warsaw, hiding in the ruins. She came out of hiding on January 22 or 23, 1945. She fought briefly as a liaison officer in the People’s Army group. In March 1945, she left Poland and crossed Romania to Palestine. She settled in Tel Aviv, where she married Chaim Frymer, who also fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She died on November 17, 2016.

translated by Adam Grossman