My mom, the war hero

At 88, Irena Szpak may not look like she was a resistance fighter. But take a closer look at her eyes and you see her wise, unflinching sense of duty and profound acceptance of reality.

Nelson Longmuir Photo
Andrzej Ruta, president of the Head Executive Board of the Polish Combatants’ Association in Canada; Irena Szpak; Aleksandra Kucy, consul and counsellor at the Polish Embassy; and Jerzy Kulczycki, president of the Polish Combatants’ (Veterans) Association in Canada, branch no. 8 in Ottawa.
Kita Szpak
Published: Thursday, 06/04/2015 9:39 pm EDT
Last Updated: Tuesday, 06/09/2015 8:13 pm EDT

The Polish Embassy honoured Ottawa resident Irena Szpak on May 28 with the Memorial Medal, meant to honour the living participants of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. According to the embassy, 56 veterans of the longest battle of the Polish Underground State live in Canada. Here, her daughter reflects on her mother’s Second World War life.

If you are already a subscriber

Subscribe to Embassy

Subscribe to the print and electronic editions and get instant access to Embassy online.


Sign up for a free trial

For access to the website.



This Week's Issue
policy briefings