We said farewell to Teresa Kaczmarek

On Saturday, June 11, at the Półwieś Cemetery was held the funeral of Teresa Kaczmarek (1929-2022) – a person hugely involved in commemorating of the fate of Polish prisoners-of-war from NKVD special camps. In 1911-1996 and 1998-2006 she ran the Katyń Family association in Opole. She was also professionally associated with the Silesian Institute. For many years she collaborated with our Museum.

Teresa Kaczmareki was the daughter of Mieczysław Bętkowski – an officer of the Border Protection Corps and the State Police, who after 17th of September 1939, was taken to the NKVD special camp in Ostaszków, to be killed later in Tver and buried in Miednoje. After the war she settled in the Opole region where, since the 1990s she was actively involved in works of the Opole and Lower Silesian branches of the Katyń Families association (one of the initiators of the Opole branch's separation from the DRK [the Lower Silesian branch] was the then director of the CMJW, Dr. Czesław Wawrzyniak).

Teresa Kaczmarek was an organiser of trips to places of execution and burial of the Polish prisoners-of-war in the East. In June 1992, owing to the affords of headed by her Opole branch of the association, in Tver, on top of the former NKVD building, there was placed a plate commemorating the killing of Polish prisoners. There was also erected a wooden cross by the dyke of Lake Seliger. In 1994 three urns containing soil from Miednoje, Katyń and Kharkov were founded and placed in the Opole Cathedral. In 1995, on the initiative of Teresa Kaczmarek and thanks to the efforts of the Katyń Family, a monument devoted to the victims of the Katyń crime – the Golgotha of the East – was erected in the Municipal Cemetery in Opole, at which anniversary ceremonies have been held for many years. Also, in 2011, Teresa Kaczmarek was the initiator  of the exhibition about the Opole Katyń Family.

Ms Teresa was attentive, listening intently to others, infectious with energy, open to ideas, ready to help, considerate, kind... We will miss her greatly.

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