Pola’s Story

Schimmel, Marilyn with her sisters, Annette and Sharon


She survives Siberia but cannot find her husband.


Pola Hipsz grew up in Chelm, Poland. When war broke out she and her brothers fled to Russia, where she married Daniel Sztarksztejn, who immediately joined the army.

Pola, brave and tenacious, survived Siberia. She returned to Poland, but for four years did not know the whereabouts of her husband. Finally, with the help of a young priest, Karol Wotyla who later became Pope John Paul XI, Pola and Daniel were reunited in London.

This poignant story was written by her three daughters both as a tribute to their mother and a way of coming to terms with her death in 2003.