A STORY ABOUT THE WARSAW MERMAID
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Krystyna Krahelska’s birthday, whose face was shown in the monument of the Warsaw mermaid
The first day of the Warsaw Uprising - 1 August 1944. On the field of Mokotów, among gold sunflowers the life of the beautiful is ending. Around one can hear noises of fighting Warsaw, above which the words of the song are floating: ‘Hey, boys, bayonet on arms’. Maybe dying Krystyna hears them, maybe she knows that she will stay in this city for ever. Hidden in the words of her songs, the monument of the Warsaw mermaid and the beautiful legend….
I am looking at colourful illustrations to the legend ‘Bogumiła, that is, a story about the Warsaw mermaid’. I am looking at one of them, later at another one…I am looking at the face of the heroine as if she reminded of somebody. I am directing my questioning eyes at the author of the legend. Later I lean over and read the dedication.
A talented poet and writer, the author of many fairy-tales and legends (among the others ‘A plait of a princess and the Vistula’, ‘Legends of three altars’), Mrs. Marta Juza-Jakubowska, living Hamilton, in Canada (Ontario) decided to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising in an unusual way. She wrote a new legend about Warsaw. ‘Bogumiła, that is, a story about the Warsaw mermaid’ is dedicated to heroic girls of the Warsaw Uprising. On the turn of August and September 2014 it will be in the book market in Poland and Canada.
Ones of more beautiful women in the history of the world became the source of the inspiration for the author of this legend: St. Joanna d’Arc and Krystyna Krahelska. Ordinary girls, dreaming about an ordinary life.
Their lives were changed by cruel fates of history, and even inhuman cruelty of the times in which they lived, did not change their chaste women’s hearts, full of faith in God and the man.
Krystyna, a beautiful girl of the classical Polish beauty, came from Borderlands. She was a scout, poet, singer by passion, an ethnographer by profession, she was a liaison and a courier for the National Army and a nurse in fighting Warsaw. Krystyna became the most known symbol of Warsaw. Just before the outbreak of the war, she posed to a sculptor Ludwika Nitschowa for the monument of Warsaw mermaid. This monument was unveiled by the heroic president of Warsaw Stefan Starżyński on the anniversary of the Miracle at the Vistula on 15 August 1939.
On the first day of the Warsaw Uprising, when on the Field of Mokotów she was dressing wounds of her wounded colleague, she was hit by a bullet of a German sniper. Krystyna did not want to expose others to a danger for saving her life.
Krystyna Krahelska was awarded with the Cross of Valour, the Cross of Merits with Swords, the Cross of the National Army and a Medal of the Polish Army.
The action of the new legend about Warsaw ‘Bogumiła, that is, a story about the Warsaw mermaid’ takes place in old Piast times. In its pictures one can find pictures from Krystyna’s life, in attitudes – the attitude of Joanna and Krystyna.
This legend is a story about a brave girl, full of a quick dramatic action. On colourful illustrations made by Paweł Kołodziejski, Bogumiła has a face of Warsaw mermaid – Krystyna Krahelska. The book is addressed to children, the youth and adults.
This story, although it was written a short time ago, seems to be already inscribed in the classics of Polish legends.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Krystyna Krahelska and the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. Let’s bow our foreheads and let’s pay tribute to all those who gave their lives in the Warsaw Uprising. We thank Mrs. Marta for reminding in this beautiful legend such an excellent and worth following heroic person, reminisced forever in the symbol of steadfast Warsaw.