Warsaw - the city that rose from the dead
Bibiana Szulc was born on 5 December 1932 as the last of seven daughters of the Polish artist Jan Szulc. When Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany in 1939, her four oldest sisters joined the patriotic resistance army (Armia Krajowa). Their father was in the divil defence force and died in the first days of the war. Bibiana stayed in Warsaw with her mother and her two other sisters. The uprising that broke out on 1 August 1944 was quashed by the Germans despite the desperate efforts of the rebels, and even before fighting had ceased, the Nazis began „depopulating“ the city. Mrs Szulcowa and her three daughters were deported to Auschwitz by the first transport on 12 August. The two older daughters were assigned to the adult female section, whereas the twelve-year-old Bibiana was left with her mother. Her two sisters were sent to work at an arms factory in Meuselwitz. She and her mother were deported to Berlin on 17 January 1945, where they were used as human shields and as a work force for clearing up the streets of the bombarded city. In the last days of the war a Polish group including Bibiana and her mother set off on a dramatic and dangerous journey to Poland. After the war Bibiana studied architecture and married a fellow architect from Czechoslovakia. She moved to Prague and found a job in her field. In 1991 she joined the renewed Polish expatriate society in the Czech Republic and took on the post of secretary, which she maintains to this day.