War mothers, bread mothers

Celebrated today Mother’s Day prompts us to remember about an extraordinary experience in the life of prisoners, which was the care they received from so-called war mothers.

Although, there were no any family bonds whatsoever between them, and usually they didn't even know the prisoners in person, sent by them postcards and letters were very cordial and spirit lifting. In the wake of the correspondence, there followed material help which illustrated itself in clothes and food parcels received by POWs. Owing to this, such women were also called bread mothers. In the museum, there is a great deal of examples of their activity.

Our attentions is drawn, e.g., to the correspondence from the Edward Wolski’ collection, signed by Helena Lübke, who was a close acquaintance of Helena and Ignacy Paderewskis. She ran one-man office of help who facilitated to arrange contacts for a huge bulk of Poles, among others, soldiers in captivity and war mothers.

We have written about this valuable help of Helna Lübke and many other, mostly unknown, women, e.g., in the book Geprüft. Censored. Philately from 1939–1945 in the collection of the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice-Opole. Today we present a photo of Helena Lübke (Los Angeles, 1978) and fragments of a large collection of her correspondence from our archive.

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