Olena Hryhoryshyn and Donia Rozen
Art by Natalie Nelson (tumblr)
Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and twelve year old Donia Rozen’s life turned to chaos.  After fleeing the violence of the Nazis and her former neighbors, Donia found herself alone.  Wandering from town to town, she was eventually given shelter by Stefan Hryhoryshyn and his sixty five year old sister Olena.  However, Stefan soon feared the repercussions of this kindness and her forced Donia to leave his home.  But Donia was no longer alone.  Elderly Olena became her protector and she fled with the girl, working for their food while Donia hid.
When winter came, Olena returned to her brother’s home, concealing Donia in the house.  One day a policeman discovered Donia and beat both the girl and her elderly protector.  The two escaped into the forest where Olena built Donia a shelter of twigs and leaves.  For three years, Olena kept Donia safe until they were parted by the approaching Red Army.
Donia immigrated to Israel in 1948.  She never saw Olena again. Based on Donia’s testimony, Olena was named Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.  Donia eventually rose to the position of Director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem.
Donia’s memior- The Forest, My Friend-  is dedicated to Olena:

This book is dedicated to Olena and to all the anonymous Olenas who risked their lives to save Jewish children. To Olena, to dear unforgettable Olena – if I were a sculptor, I would create a memorial for you. I would immortalize your noble image – the image of a mother who is willing to suffer the greatest cruelty to save her children, who will sacrifice her life. You were a mother to me – the mother that I had lost during my early childhood. Unfortunately I am neither a sculptor nor a poetess, and I can only offer you this humble gift – these memoirs that were written out of a deep and heartfelt need. Accept them, dear Olena, as an expression of my great love to you, an expression of my gratitude and appreciation. Dear beloved Olena, I will never forget you.

Although Donia’s book is out of print, many libraries retain copies.  You can read an excerpt here.
Yad Vashem: Olena Hryhoryshyn

Olena Hryhoryshyn and Donia Rozen

Art by Natalie Nelson (tumblr)

Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and twelve year old Donia Rozen’s life turned to chaos.  After fleeing the violence of the Nazis and her former neighbors, Donia found herself alone.  Wandering from town to town, she was eventually given shelter by Stefan Hryhoryshyn and his sixty five year old sister Olena.  However, Stefan soon feared the repercussions of this kindness and her forced Donia to leave his home.  But Donia was no longer alone.  Elderly Olena became her protector and she fled with the girl, working for their food while Donia hid.

When winter came, Olena returned to her brother’s home, concealing Donia in the house.  One day a policeman discovered Donia and beat both the girl and her elderly protector.  The two escaped into the forest where Olena built Donia a shelter of twigs and leaves.  For three years, Olena kept Donia safe until they were parted by the approaching Red Army.

Donia immigrated to Israel in 1948.  She never saw Olena again. Based on Donia’s testimony, Olena was named Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.  Donia eventually rose to the position of Director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem.

Donia’s memior- The Forest, My Friend-  is dedicated to Olena:

This book is dedicated to Olena and to all the anonymous Olenas who risked their lives to save Jewish children. To Olena, to dear unforgettable Olena – if I were a sculptor, I would create a memorial for you. I would immortalize your noble image – the image of a mother who is willing to suffer the greatest cruelty to save her children, who will sacrifice her life. You were a mother to me – the mother that I had lost during my early childhood. Unfortunately I am neither a sculptor nor a poetess, and I can only offer you this humble gift – these memoirs that were written out of a deep and heartfelt need. Accept them, dear Olena, as an expression of my great love to you, an expression of my gratitude and appreciation. Dear beloved Olena, I will never forget you.

Although Donia’s book is out of print, many libraries retain copies.  You can read an excerpt here.

Yad Vashem: Olena Hryhoryshyn

fairfieldmuseumct:

Fairfield CT’s Red Cross in the early 1900’s

fairfieldmuseumct:

Fairfield CT’s Red Cross in the early 1900’s

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of Maria Mitchell who discovered a comet in 1847.  An American, Maria was awarded a medal by King Frederick VI of Denmark who established a prize for each discoverer of a “telescopic comet” that could not be seen by the naked eye.  
Maria was the first female member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  In 1865 she became Vassar College’s first professor of astronomy and director of the Vassar College Observatory.  Despite her fame, Maria was initially paid less than many younger male professors, but she insisted on pay equity and received a raise.  
Maria was an abolitionist and refused to wear cotton because it was harvested by enslaved people.  She was also an advocate for woman’s rights and counted Elizabeth Cady Stanton among her friends.
Maria’s family home on Nantucket is now a museum.  

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of Maria Mitchell who discovered a comet in 1847.  An American, Maria was awarded a medal by King Frederick VI of Denmark who established a prize for each discoverer of a “telescopic comet” that could not be seen by the naked eye.  

Maria was the first female member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  In 1865 she became Vassar College’s first professor of astronomy and director of the Vassar College Observatory.  Despite her fame, Maria was initially paid less than many younger male professors, but she insisted on pay equity and received a raise.  

Maria was an abolitionist and refused to wear cotton because it was harvested by enslaved people.  She was also an advocate for woman’s rights and counted Elizabeth Cady Stanton among her friends.

Maria’s family home on Nantucket is now a museum.  

Lea Ráskay, 16th century
Art by Jugandi (tumblr)
Lea was a member of the Dominican monastery on what is today known as Margaret Island in Budapest.  A learned woman, Lea is known for her work copying and translating codices.  Without her work several of these manuscripts might have been lost, including the medieval manuscript The Legend of Saint Margaret.

Lea Ráskay, 16th century

Art by Jugandi (tumblr)

Lea was a member of the Dominican monastery on what is today known as Margaret Island in Budapest.  A learned woman, Lea is known for her work copying and translating codices.  Without her work several of these manuscripts might have been lost, including the medieval manuscript The Legend of Saint Margaret.

ourpresidents:

As a teenager growing up during the Depression, Betty Ford worked as a department model on Saturdays to earn money. “I would wander through Herpolsheimer’s tearoom wearing an outfit from stock, and ladies at the tables would stop me” to ask about the clothes and where to find them, she later recalled.When Betty returned to Grand Rapids in the 1940s she found work at Herpolsheimer’s again, this time as a fashion coordinator. She trained models to show clothes and organized the Saturday fashion shows in the tearoom that she had previously modeled in.
Here she and her mother-in-law Dorothy Gardner Ford visit the Herpolisheimer’s Department store in July 1949.
-from the Ford Library

ourpresidents:

As a teenager growing up during the Depression, Betty Ford worked as a department model on Saturdays to earn money. “I would wander through Herpolsheimer’s tearoom wearing an outfit from stock, and ladies at the tables would stop me” to ask about the clothes and where to find them, she later recalled.

When Betty returned to Grand Rapids in the 1940s she found work at Herpolsheimer’s again, this time as a fashion coordinator. She trained models to show clothes and organized the Saturday fashion shows in the tearoom that she had previously modeled in.


Here she and her mother-in-law Dorothy Gardner Ford visit the Herpolisheimer’s Department store in July 1949.

-from the Ford Library

(Source: facebook.com)

Olga of Kiev (890-969)
Art by Z Akhmetova (tumblr)
Olga was the wife of Igor of Kiev, ruler of Kievan Rus’.  Igor was killed in 945 while attempting to collect a high tribute from the Drevlians. As their son Svyatoslav was only three years old at the time, Olga became the regent of Kievan Rus’ after Igor’s death.
The Drevlians wanted Olga to marry their Prince Mal so that he would become the new ruler Kievan Rus’.  They sent twenty matchmakers.  Olga gave the matchmakers a warm welcome, then had them buried alive.  Before the Drevlians heard of the matchmakers’ deaths, Olga sent a message to Prince Mal accepting his proposal.  The Drevlians sent their most distinguished men to accompany the bride to the wedding.  When the men arrived, Olga offered them the use of her bathhouse.  After they entered, she locked the doors and set fire to the building, burning them alive.  Then she invited the Drevlians to a funeral feast for her husband.  Once the Drevlians were drunk from the feast, Olga ordered her soldiers to attack, killing over 5,000 people.  Finally, she offered the now fearful Drevlians peace if every home in the capitol would give a dove in tribute.  The Drevlians gladly handed over the birds, eager for peace.  Olga had her soldiers fasten either burning paper or burning coals (sources vary) to a string attached to the birds’ legs and released them.  The birds flew home, bringing fire with them and the city was destroyed. 
Olga later developed a system of tribute gathering with a fixed schedule of payments which may be the first legal tax system in Eastern Europe.
Olga converted to Christianity around 957 and welcomed missionaries to Rus’.  Olga remained ruler of Rus’ even after Svyatoslav came of age as her son preferred to focus on military campaigns.  Olga raised her grandson Vladimir I as a devout Christian.  It was Vladimir I who eventually made Christianity the official state religion.  Both Olga and Vladimir were canonized.  Olga further holds the honorific Isapóstolos meaning Equal to the Apostles in the Orthodox Church.  

Olga of Kiev (890-969)

Art by Z Akhmetova (tumblr)

Olga was the wife of Igor of Kiev, ruler of Kievan Rus’.  Igor was killed in 945 while attempting to collect a high tribute from the Drevlians. As their son Svyatoslav was only three years old at the time, Olga became the regent of Kievan Rus’ after Igor’s death.

The Drevlians wanted Olga to marry their Prince Mal so that he would become the new ruler Kievan Rus’.  They sent twenty matchmakers.  Olga gave the matchmakers a warm welcome, then had them buried alive.  Before the Drevlians heard of the matchmakers’ deaths, Olga sent a message to Prince Mal accepting his proposal.  The Drevlians sent their most distinguished men to accompany the bride to the wedding.  When the men arrived, Olga offered them the use of her bathhouse.  After they entered, she locked the doors and set fire to the building, burning them alive.  Then she invited the Drevlians to a funeral feast for her husband.  Once the Drevlians were drunk from the feast, Olga ordered her soldiers to attack, killing over 5,000 people.  Finally, she offered the now fearful Drevlians peace if every home in the capitol would give a dove in tribute.  The Drevlians gladly handed over the birds, eager for peace.  Olga had her soldiers fasten either burning paper or burning coals (sources vary) to a string attached to the birds’ legs and released them.  The birds flew home, bringing fire with them and the city was destroyed. 

Olga later developed a system of tribute gathering with a fixed schedule of payments which may be the first legal tax system in Eastern Europe.

Olga converted to Christianity around 957 and welcomed missionaries to Rus’.  Olga remained ruler of Rus’ even after Svyatoslav came of age as her son preferred to focus on military campaigns.  Olga raised her grandson Vladimir I as a devout Christian.  It was Vladimir I who eventually made Christianity the official state religion.  Both Olga and Vladimir were canonized.  Olga further holds the honorific Isapóstolos meaning Equal to the Apostles in the Orthodox Church.  

Pálné Veres*/Hermin Beniczky (1815-1895)
Art by Molly Bergstrom (tumblr)
Hermin founded the first secondary school for girls in Hungary in 1867.  This set off a national debate over whether girls should study a general curriculum or focus on household skills.  The debate continued for decades while students at Hermin’s school learned Hungarian literature, history, math, religion, French, German, art, music, gymnastics, social science, and pedagogy.  Girls often became engaged and withdrew from the school prior to graduation as a completed high school education was seen as only necessary for future teachers.  Despite this reoccurring problem, Hermin’s work changed the prevailing viewpoint that education was only necessary for boys.  Twenty eight years after Hermin founded her high school, Hungarian universities began admitting female students.

Both a street and a high school in Budapest are named in Hermin’s honor.
*Pálné Veres was born Hermin Beniczky.  Following Hungarian traditions of the time she is known as the wife of Pál Veres (né = wife of).  During her lifetime she often signed documents with both her married and maiden names. Cool Chicks from History uses first names, so she is referred to in this post as Hermin.  

Pálné Veres*/Hermin Beniczky (1815-1895)

Art by Molly Bergstrom (tumblr)

Hermin founded the first secondary school for girls in Hungary in 1867.  This set off a national debate over whether girls should study a general curriculum or focus on household skills.  The debate continued for decades while students at Hermin’s school learned Hungarian literature, history, math, religion, French, German, art, music, gymnastics, social science, and pedagogy.  Girls often became engaged and withdrew from the school prior to graduation as a completed high school education was seen as only necessary for future teachers.  Despite this reoccurring problem, Hermin’s work changed the prevailing viewpoint that education was only necessary for boys.  Twenty eight years after Hermin founded her high school, Hungarian universities began admitting female students.

Both a street and a high school in Budapest are named in Hermin’s honor.

*Pálné Veres was born Hermin Beniczky.  Following Hungarian traditions of the time she is known as the wife of Pál Veres (né = wife of).  During her lifetime she often signed documents with both her married and maiden names. Cool Chicks from History uses first names, so she is referred to in this post as Hermin.  

ourpresidents:

Diana Vreeland was born on this day, July 29, 1906.
Here, Vreeland gives a tour to First Lady Betty Ford of the “American Women of Style” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. March 29, 1976.Vreeland, was a prominent fashion journalist and the developer of the show. The show featured the clothing and accessories of ten women noted for their individuality and the impact they had on American style. Those profiled included dancer Isadora Duncan, artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and entertainer Josephine Baker. Sculptures, paintings, and photographs supplemented the garments on display.After the tour Mrs. Ford greeted the Museum and Costume Institute staff who created the exhibit and built the displays.

ourpresidents:

Diana Vreeland was born on this day, July 29, 1906.

Here, Vreeland gives a tour to First Lady Betty Ford of the “American Women of Style” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. March 29, 1976.

Vreeland, was a prominent fashion journalist and the developer of the show. The show featured the clothing and accessories of ten women noted for their individuality and the impact they had on American style. Those profiled included dancer Isadora Duncan, artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and entertainer Josephine Baker. Sculptures, paintings, and photographs supplemented the garments on display.

After the tour Mrs. Ford greeted the Museum and Costume Institute staff who created the exhibit and built the displays.
Vera Poska-Grünthal (1898-1986)
Art by Matkija (tumblr)
The daughter of Estonia politician Jaan Poska, Vera trained as an attorney.  It took her ten years to complete her degree, partly because of the disruptions of World War I.  In that time, she also gave birth to four children.  
Vera was one of the founding members of the International Association of Women Magistrates and Barristers (1928).   Vera had become interested in family law while employed at the Bureau of Legal Advice in Tallinn.  She worked with local women’s groups to improve family law as the existing laws were often contradictory or incomplete.  Her new international organization fostered connections among women working to improve family law across Europe. 
Unfortunately, Vera’s work was interrupted by World War II and the Soviet occupation.  The Poska-Grünthal family fled to Sweden in 1944 and Vera switched her focus to non-fiction writing.  She wrote books about her life in Estonia, her experiences as an expat in Sweden, and a memoir about her father.  She also founded an Estonian language magazine called Triinu.

Vera Poska-Grünthal (1898-1986)

Art by Matkija (tumblr)

The daughter of Estonia politician Jaan Poska, Vera trained as an attorney.  It took her ten years to complete her degree, partly because of the disruptions of World War I.  In that time, she also gave birth to four children.  

Vera was one of the founding members of the International Association of Women Magistrates and Barristers (1928).   Vera had become interested in family law while employed at the Bureau of Legal Advice in Tallinn.  She worked with local women’s groups to improve family law as the existing laws were often contradictory or incomplete.  Her new international organization fostered connections among women working to improve family law across Europe. 

Unfortunately, Vera’s work was interrupted by World War II and the Soviet occupation.  The Poska-Grünthal family fled to Sweden in 1944 and Vera switched her focus to non-fiction writing.  She wrote books about her life in Estonia, her experiences as an expat in Sweden, and a memoir about her father.  She also founded an Estonian language magazine called Triinu.

Emilia Plater (1806-1831)
Art by red frame (tumblr)
Emilia Plater was born in Vilnius to a noble Polish–Lithuanian family.  When she was 24, the November Uprising broke out against Imperial Russia and Emilia joined the revolutionaries. Emilia never hid her gender and despite objections she rose to the rank of captain, the highest rank ever awarded to a woman at that time.  She died in December 1831 of illness.  After her death, her estate was confiscated by the Russians.
Emilia is venerated as national heroine in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.  She was immortalized in verse by Adam Mickiewicz in a poem entitled Śmierć pułkownika (Death of a Colonel) that is loosely based on her life.  During World War II, the 8,000 female soldiers in the Polish People’s Army were called Platerowski in Emilia’s honor.

Emilia Plater (1806-1831)

Art by red frame (tumblr)

Emilia Plater was born in Vilnius to a noble Polish–Lithuanian family.  When she was 24, the November Uprising broke out against Imperial Russia and Emilia joined the revolutionaries. Emilia never hid her gender and despite objections she rose to the rank of captain, the highest rank ever awarded to a woman at that time.  She died in December 1831 of illness.  After her death, her estate was confiscated by the Russians.

Emilia is venerated as national heroine in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.  She was immortalized in verse by Adam Mickiewicz in a poem entitled Śmierć pułkownika (Death of a Colonel) that is loosely based on her life.  During World War II, the 8,000 female soldiers in the Polish People’s Army were called Platerowski in Emilia’s honor.

usnatarchives:

Seventy years ago this week, Minnie Spotted Wolf became the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.
Born and raised on a ranch near White Tail Creek, about 15 miles from Heart Butte, Montana, Spotted Wolf stated that growing up doing such ranch work as “cutting fence posts, driving a two-ton truck, and breaking horses” seemed to prepare her for the rigors of Marine Corps boot camp, which she was quoted as saying was “hard, but not too hard.”
This service picture of Minnie Spotted Wolf is from the correspondence files from the Blackfeet Indian Agency (Record Group 75) in the National Archives at Denver, where you can find the photographs of many other Blackfeet who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII.
Image: Minnie Spotted Wolf, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, ARC 7329402

usnatarchives:

Seventy years ago this week, Minnie Spotted Wolf became the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.

Born and raised on a ranch near White Tail Creek, about 15 miles from Heart Butte, Montana, Spotted Wolf stated that growing up doing such ranch work as “cutting fence posts, driving a two-ton truck, and breaking horses” seemed to prepare her for the rigors of Marine Corps boot camp, which she was quoted as saying was “hard, but not too hard.”

This service picture of Minnie Spotted Wolf is from the correspondence files from the Blackfeet Indian Agency (Record Group 75) in the National Archives at Denver, where you can find the photographs of many other Blackfeet who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII.

Image: Minnie Spotted Wolf, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, ARC 7329402

Milada Petříková-Pavlíková (1895-1985)
Art by Hillary H. (tumblr)
Milada Petříková-Pavlíková was the first female architect in Czechoslovakia.  She designed private homes, student dorms, and kindergartens.  Her best known building is the Drama Club in Prague.

Milada Petříková-Pavlíková (1895-1985)

Art by Hillary H. (tumblr)

Milada Petříková-Pavlíková was the first female architect in Czechoslovakia.  She designed private homes, student dorms, and kindergartens.  Her best known building is the Drama Club in Prague.

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958).  The doodle illustrates her most important contribution to science, X-ray diffraction images of DNA.  These images helped form the basis of Crick and Watson’s model of DNA.

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958).  The doodle illustrates her most important contribution to science, X-ray diffraction images of DNA.  These images helped form the basis of Crick and Watson’s model of DNA.

uspsstamps:

Happy birthday Amelia Earhart! In 1932, Earhart soloed non-stop across the Atlantic and the U.S.—both firsts for a woman. Earhart’s beloved Vega was a sleek wooden monoplane that helped launch Lockheed on its path to success.

uspsstamps:

Happy birthday Amelia Earhart! In 1932, Earhart soloed non-stop across the Atlantic and the U.S.—both firsts for a woman. Earhart’s beloved Vega was a sleek wooden monoplane that helped launch Lockheed on its path to success.

Söyembikä of Kazan, 16th century
Art by Sion Clarke (tumblr)
Söyembikä ruled Kazar as regent for her two year old son Ütämeşgäräy from 1549-1551.  She was one of the first Muslim women to serve as head of state.  Her rule ended in 1551 when Ivan the Terrible seized parts of Kazan.  He then forced Söyembikä and her son to move to Moscow.
In Kazan there is a landmark called Söyembikä Tower.  Legend says Ivan the Terrible built it for Söyembikä who would only marry him after he built her a tower with seven tiers.  Supposedly when Söyembikä climbed the completed tower, she looked out over her beloved homeland and was so overcome with grief for her people that she threw herself off the tower. 
In reality, Söyembikä married the Russia-imposed khan of Kazar, Şahğäli.  Her exact date of death is unknown.

Söyembikä of Kazan, 16th century

Art by Sion Clarke (tumblr)

Söyembikä ruled Kazar as regent for her two year old son Ütämeşgäräy from 1549-1551.  She was one of the first Muslim women to serve as head of state.  Her rule ended in 1551 when Ivan the Terrible seized parts of Kazan.  He then forced Söyembikä and her son to move to Moscow.

In Kazan there is a landmark called Söyembikä Tower.  Legend says Ivan the Terrible built it for Söyembikä who would only marry him after he built her a tower with seven tiers.  Supposedly when Söyembikä climbed the completed tower, she looked out over her beloved homeland and was so overcome with grief for her people that she threw herself off the tower. 

In reality, Söyembikä married the Russia-imposed khan of Kazar, Şahğäli.  Her exact date of death is unknown.