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Anna Anders-Nowakowska was born in Poland on 15 January 1919, and was the daughter of General W. Anders, commander-in-chief of the Polish 2nd Corps in Italy, and his first wife Irena-Maria nee Jordan-Krakowska, whom he had married in 1923. They had two children, Anna and Jerzy. Anna had last seen her father at the hospital in Lwow, and he was later imprisoned by the Russians in the infamous Lubyanka prison.

With her father's absence, Anna and the rest of the family had to deal with the reality of life under German occupation in Warsaw.  Anna's daughter Eve-Maria was born in February 1941 and the family struggled to survive. She and her mother made pasta, sold raincoats, ran an antique shop, and even traded vodka. When the “W” hour came (the hour that had been set as the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising) she did not hesitate even a minute. Leaving her young daughter in her mother’s care, she went to the insurgent barricades!

Anna took part in the Home Army resistance movement and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, with her first husband, Bernard Jan Romanowski. She was the recipient of several war-time decorations including the Silver Order of Merit with Swords, the Cross of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, the Polish War medal and the Cross of Veterans Affairs Volunteers.

General Anders’ son Jerzy (1927-1983) had also taken part in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In May 1945, under an assumed name, he left Poland and reached General Patton, who allowed him to fly to Rome to his father. The meeting was a bitter one. Jerzy was a child when the war broke out and the General disappeared from his life for almost eight years.  He did not accept his father’s mistress who was the same age as his sister, and he left for Southern Italy to attend the Artillery School. When his mother, Irena-Maria, came to Italy with his sister, Anna and her husband Bernard Jan Romanowski and their daughter Eve, the General wanted nothing to do with them.  They were an embarrassment to his affair with the singer Irena Jarosiewuicz (she used the stage name Renata Bogdańska). They had hoped for a return to the pre-war situation, but it was not to be, and her father’s choice had a tragic impact on the whole family.

His first wife and children began to think about their post-war fate. The General decided to go to Great Britain, and Jerzy also went there. He married a young girl who was a cleaner in his mother’s studio. Jerzy, his wife, and their son Władysław Jr. emigrated to Canada. Jerzy became an economics specialist who worked for the federal government. Jerzy broke off all contact with his father, never seeing or speaking with him again.

Anna decided to go first to France, then to Canada. She was incredulous when she read a report that her father and his new wife had named their first daughter Anna! After emigrating to Canada, Anna worked for twenty-three years as announcer-producer at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC), Polish Section. Anna had also broken off all contact with her father, only speaking with him shortly before his death.

Widowed, she married Andrzej Nowakowski with whom she spent forty-seven happy years – she had a daughter Eve from her first marriage, and three grandchildren.

Anna passed away in Rawdon, Quebec, Canada, on 25 July 2006, at the age of 87 years.


This is the book that Anna

wrote about her father ....

Copyright: Romanowski-Nowakowski family

Jerzy Anders

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