Polish Women's War Relief Committee, 1939-1949

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Polish Women's War Relief Committee, 1939-1949

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Polish Women’s Relief Committee
  • Komitet Polek Niesienia Pomocy Ojczyźnie

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Description area

Dates of existence



The Polish Women’s War Relief Committee (a.k.a. Polish Women’s Relief Committee, Komitet Polek Niesienia Pomocy Ojczyźnie) was formed by Zwiazek Polek [“Polish Women’s Association”] in Winnipeg on October 20, 1939. It was certified by the Polish National Relief and Defence Committee in Canada Fund and authorized to solicit and make collections on its behalf on December 5th, 1939. The Committee collected, sewed, organized, prepared, and shipped shipments of material goods (including clothing, foodstuffs, and cigarettes) and financial aid to displaced or war-devastated Poles during and following the Second World War. Between the years of 1939 and 1947, the Committee helped hundreds of destitute Polish families and individuals, many of whom were displaced across Europe and had suffered the complete loss of their material goods and property, and many of whom had also lost family members in the War. The Committee also organized shipments of cigarettes and other foodstuffs or necessary material items for war-injured Polish soldiers convalescing in England, and in many cases, organized shipments of goods to their families still in Poland. Finally, the Committee aided hundreds of Polish war orphans through shipments of food and clothing. The Committee’s aid was guided by letters of appeal it received from Poles during and after the War. Awareness of its services was often spread by word of mouth in Poland, as evidenced by the letters in this collection.

The Committee was headquartered at various locations over its primary operating years. The majority of the committee’s activity was centred in the home of its President, Katarzyna Rybak (which was the medical office of her husband, Dr. Frank Rybak), located at 359 Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg. The Committee also received correspondence at 848 Main Street, and at 618 Stella Avenue.

By 1947, most of the operations and activities of the Committee had wound down, and the final records were created in 1949. It is currently unknown whether the Committee officially shuttered or ceased to exist after its main operational functions were complete.


Winnipeg, Manitoba

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The finding aid was created in 2017 and uploaded in March 2020.


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