Who is Elizabeth Frankowski? Library and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur Reveal WWII-Era Polish Diary Digitization Project

Posted Aug 28th, 2015 by Rhonda B. Sewell  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Events, General Interests


The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the Office of The Honorable Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur present a news conference and reception in honor of Elizabeth Frankowski and her childhood Polish diary, scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 3 at the West Toledo Branch Library, 1320 Sylvania Ave.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Learn more about The Frankowski Diary, its author, and a family’s strength and survival during the 1939 invasion of Poland at –
Click here:

Who is Elizabeth Frankowski?

The longtime Toledo resident, now 89-years-old, loaned the Library the diary, which is a record of the events she and her family suffered as a result of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. Her father, Marian Pawlicki, a veteran of World War I, was killed on border patrol duty, leaving behind seven children, of which Elizabeth was the oldest at almost 13, and his wife, then expecting their eighth child.

Elizabeth and her family were deported to Siberia where they lived as labor camp slaves. Her diary was written in 1942 in Iran, after her liberation from Siberia. The diary is handwritten on a notebook with lined pages in beautiful Polish script. It includes illustrated scenes of her life within the pages. The cover of the book is a hand-sewn remnant from a school uniform.

Elizabeth Frankowski generously allowed the Library to scan her diary, titled Tears of Faith, as well as the transcription and translation, which she translated with the assistance of her sister Leokadia Pawlicka, who resides in Canada. The loan of Mrs. Frankowski’s material to the Library was made possible through the efforts of The Honorable Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who learned of the diary and was able to obtain it for us to borrow. The Library’s digitization project allows the diary to be available to customers and visitors online A few copies of the translation are also available for circulation at Main Library.

News Conference
The scheduled program for the News Conference and Reception on Thursday, September 3 is as follows:
I. Welcome – Clyde Scoles, Library Director
II. Honorable Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Certificate presentation)
III. Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski (Resolution presentation)
IV. Jill Clever, Library Digitization Lab/Frankowski Project
V. Remarks by a representative of the Toledo Poznan Alliance (
VI. Remarks by Elizabeth Frankowski
VII. Light refreshments/Event conclusion

For more details, please call the Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department at 419-259-5233

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