Maria Devrim, the eternal figure of the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis

Written by Marion van Renterghem

Posted today at 01:11

You would never have imagined “Live it again”. When she watched Ukrainian civilians making their Molotov cocktails to disrupt the Russian army, she saw herself again in Warsaw with her old pistol and 100 cartridges, trying to drive the Germans out of their strategic areas. She recalls the unusual mobilization of the Poles who welcomed the secret fighters. She remembers the corpses among the ruins and the crowds fleeing the capital, “Inhabited by unfathomable despair”. She rediscovers this sense of loneliness in the face of the Nazi occupier, waiting for reinforcements that have not come, neither the Polish planes supposed to arrive from London nor Stalin’s Russian army who preferred to leave them. “Like the Ukrainians, we were asking for air protection. Unlike their battle, we lost our battle in advance. »

You talk, you talk. Maria Devrim, born Maria Sabina Tarluska, is cheerful and often laughs. She rolls the letter “r” the Polish way, in perfect French. She remembers the shootout and meandering she had to make as she crossed the street to look for an injured person on the other side. From his comrade Salouq, who died beside him in their hideout and was hit by a shell. From the stench of sewers you had to walk through in the dark, from your feet in the gloom, to arriving at a surrounded resistance zone. From the bomb she threw at the Germans from the window, while her comrades were hanging her by her feet. “I was young and light, it was easier for me”She said without adding to it. Well, that’s right: it’s very small. We didn’t even notice, his many looks give him power, with frowning eyebrows and piercing gray eyes.

In the archives of Maria Devrim, May 5, 2022.

Maria Devrim is arguably the oldest survivor of the Warsaw Uprising. One of the last who bore the memory of this armed uprising against the Germans, which was as brief as it was desperate, from 1Verse From August to October 2, 1944, which followed the capital’s ghetto rebellion a year earlier. “I think someone died in Warsaw recently, so I’m probably the eldest nowShe notes in her low voice. Not long ago, we were four in Paris. One has just died, one has lost her mind, the third is not in good shape… and here I am. »

Liaison officer at 19

Observing her figure in her Parisian apartment, straight as “me”, with her curly chestnut hair, listening to the image of her unfolding the exploits of her arms with the liveliness of a child, seeing her jogging from café to restaurant in the streets of his house. In the neighbourhood, between Montparnasse and Alicia, something is not right. Fighting in 1944 .. How old is she? “98”, respond succinctly. 98 years old? It should be ten or two away. We look at her suspiciously. I became angry. “Well, yes, what! I was born on August 19, 1923, I am 98 years old. It is annoying that people are surprised. » So Maria has only a short century left, but she can say, like Baudelaire: “I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old.”

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