Akcja Żonkile: Our students create a mural in honor of Alina Margolis-Edelman

On Wednesday, April 19th, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the French School in Warsaw revealed a mural created by middle and high schoolers in partnership with the artist Dariusz Paczkowski (3Fala.art) and the preschoolers of the School No. 292. This project, led by Mrs. Subko, was part of the “Żonkile initiative of the POLIN Museum, in which our students have been participating for the past 8 years.

This mural, which is visible from Walecznych Street on the school premises, is dedicated to Alina Margolis-Edelman, a prominent figure in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and an iconic symbol of the Franco-Polish relationship.

Born in Łódź in 1922, she was a strong advocate for human rights. After surviving the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, she not only founded the association “Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę” to help underprivileged children in Poland, but also devoted her life to protecting disadvantaged individuals, by for instance co-founding the “Médecins du monde” NGO in France.

After her arrival in France in 1968, she tirelessly worked to build links between the two countries to continue helping those in need. During the martial law in Poland, she organized medical aid convoys to her birth country with Danielle Mitterrand.

Alina Margolis-Edelman passed away in 2014, leaving behind an inspiring and remarkable legacy of determination, courage, and compassion. This mural was a beautiful way for the students of the LFV to pay tribute to her and to remind everyone that even in the darkest moments of history, there is always hope for a better future.

On Wednesday, April 19th, the mural was unveiled during a ceremony attended by a few close relatives of Alina Margolis-Edelman. The event also brought together several representatives from the French Embassy in Poland, the Mayor of the Praga-Południe district, the POLIN Museum, the “Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę” Foundation, as well as the director of the School No. 292 and the LFV community.

The ceremony started with a speech from Mrs. Lesage, the principal of the LFV:

“Exactly 80 years ago, on April 19th, 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began. I am very pleased to welcome you this morning to the French School in Warsaw to unveil the work accomplished by our students on this occasion. The work presented here combines the duty of remembrance with modernity and was carried out with the support of Mr. Dariusz Paczkowski. The heroine at the center of this work would have turned 101 years old yesterday, on April 18th. She was a woman who dedicated her entire life to promoting tolerance, equality, and the protection of the most vulnerable. These values are also at the core of our school.”

We warmly thank Barbara Subko, without whom this project could not have come to life, and artist Dariusz Paczkowski, who coordinated the creation of the mural.

We also extend our gratitude to the relatives of Alina Margolis-Edelman, the French Embassy in Poland, the Mayor of the Praga-Południe district, the POLIN Museum, and the “Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę” Foundation for their presence at the ceremony.

Last but not least, thank you to our students and the students of School No. 292 for putting their hearts into the creation of this magnificent mural!