Warszawa / Saska Kępa / 31 Zakopiańska Street
  • House at 31 Zakopiańska Street, 2017, photo: M. Markiewicz, Pańska Skórka

  • House at 31 Zakopiańska Street, 2017, photo: M. Markiewicz, Pańska Skórka

  • Janina and Jan Rendzner in their house at 31 Zakopiańska Street, 1930s, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • The Rendzner sisters – Barbara and Zofia – with a friend from school, standing in front of the house at 31 Zakopiańska Street, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • Zofia Rendzner with a dog at the balcony of the house at 31 Zakopiańska Street, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • Zofia Rendzner-Czerwosz, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • Zofia Rendzner-Czerwosz, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • Handwritten card of Zofia Rendzner-Czerwosz: „Zofia Czerwoszowa, Zakopiańska 31, willa p. Rendznerów”, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

  • Magdalena Gross, photo: family archive of Magdalena Czerwosz, POLIN Museum

Zofia Rendzner-Czerwosz

„It’s hot!,” that is what Magdalena Gross heard each time unexpected guests turned up at the house on Zakopiańska Street. The safe phrase meant that she could not come downstairs and had to stay in the attic. The sculptor moved into the Rendzner family house from the Żabiński family villa at the ZOO, and she stayed there for a year and a half.

Jan Rendzner was an electric engineer; he chose Saska Kępa as the house location due to its suburban feel. During the German occupation, he resided there with his wife Janina and daughter Zofia, a graduate of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. In her memoir, Zofia recalled the following incident.

One day, Germans turned up at the house all of a sudden. They looked for men – all males from the neighbourhood were to be deported. When they entered, Janina instantly arranged the following scene: Magdalena stood in the middle of the living room in worker’s garb, finishing a sculpture – which was in fact already finished – to which Janina herself was posing. The Germans got interested in the artistic process and asked detailed questions. When they left, Magdalena and Janina looked at each other and their legs gave way – they sank onto the floor at the very same instance.