Krystyna (Pawłowicz) Hauke-Nowak

Krystyna Pawłowicz was born On December 15th 1896 and died at Casa da Velhice São Luiz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 15th 1971.  She was the elder daughter of Kazimierz Pawłowicz and Helena Jełowicka,  and Bohdan Pawłowicz’s sister. Her nephew, Leszek, was her godson.

She married three times. First to Piotr  Olewiński but as the marriage was not consummated,  it was dissolved and Krystyna returned home. Then, she got married to Mirosław  Szabuniewicz but this marriage did not last long. 

Finally, she met Aleksander  Hauke-Nowak, whom she married on June 2nd 1933 and with whom she remained until he died in 1956 in Rio de Janeiro. As he was already married in the Roman Catholic Church, which did not recognize divorce, they made their relationship official at the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Warsaw.

Her husband was the governor of the provinces of Łodz (1933-1938) and later of the Wołyń Voivodeship (1938-1939).  After the outbreak of World War II, they fled Łuck. Aleksander joined the Polish Government in Exile in France. Later, they found themselves in exile in Great Britain and after the war, they were invited by Krystyna’s brother, Bohdan, to come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the early 50’s. They lived with the family for some time.

In Rio de Janeiro,  Krystyna founded the Polish Youth Circle Świetliki (Fireflies) in 1953.  Tomasz Łychowski, poet, painter and promoter of Polish culture in Brazil, was its first president. He describes Krystyna in his autobiographical book “Moja droga na księżyc” (My way to the Moon: How I survived WWII”) , from which I have translated some of the information (pdf in Polish)

“I met Mrs. Krystyna Hauke-Nowak in 1952. It was shortly after I arrived in Rio de Janeiro from the provinces. I was then seventeen years old. Mrs. Krystyna had a very peculiar style of expressing her thoughts and only after some time had passed, was I able to fully appreciate her beautiful, lush literary command of the Polish language. Lush was also her lavish imagination and very often distant from “reality.” Her reality was still and fervently Poland. Poland in Rio de Janeiro. Soon after, Ms. Krystyna founded the Circle of Polish Youth “Świetliki”. “White Chalk Circle or Magic Circle” – as she often called it….Mrs. Krystyna defended our Circle from the interference of Polish organizations in Rio, which intended to include us in their sphere of influence. This attitude earned her some enemies, but it seems to me that she was right. Thanks to her efforts, “Świetliki”  (The Fireflies)  maintained their independence for many years,  and a light and relaxed atmosphere undisturbed by the inevitable gossip of the émigrés…”

After her husband’s death in 1956, Krystyna was on her own as family and many friends moved elsewhere: her brother, his wife and godson to the US and her niece, Hanna, with her family to Santos. Her health and mind gradually declined and loyal friends moved her first to a small rest house and then with the help of Father Zygmunt Szwajkewicz to the Casa de Velhice São Luis, a larger rest house for the elderly, where she stayed until she died.

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