Stefania Grodzieńska (02.09.1914–28.04.2010)

poet, writer, dancer, theater and stage actress, author of satirical texts

Grodzieńska was born in Łódź, attending the local ballet school from the age of three. In the interwar period, she worked in the Cyganeria, Kameralny and Cyrulik Warszawskie theater as a dancer, author and performer of sketches. Here she met her future husband, poet, satirist and author of texts, Jerzy Jurandot.

From the fall of 1940 to the ‘Great Deportation Action’ to the Treblinka extermination camp in 1942 the two lived in the Warsaw Ghetto, where Jurandot organized performances in which Stefania took part (Melody Palace, and later Teatr Femina). In August 1942, they managed to get to the ‘Aryan’ side. They hid in Gołąbki near Warsaw with the family of Zofia and Gabriel Kijkowski. There, Jurandot’s memoirs were written (published only in 2014), as were a collection of Grodziska’s poems ‘Dzieci ghetto’ (published in 1947 under the pseudonym Stefania Ney).

After the war, she became the first female announcer on Polish radio in Lublin, where she also began to write the first columns for Szpilki and Przekrój. The collections of her columns and sketches were entitled ‘Satiric day’, ‘I’m not serious’, ‘Ugly garden’, ‘Columns and humoresques’, ‘Plagi and beaches’, and ‘Male, female and nondescript pieces’. She is also the author of a biographical portrait of Fryderyk Jarose – ‘He was Born by a  Blue Bird’ and the humorous ‘Confessions of a Chaltualist’, as well as the autobiography ‘I do not Need Anything Anymore’.

She died after a short illness on April 28, 2010, and was buried in the Powązki Military Cemetery.

translated by Adam Grossman