"Twentieth Century Florence Nightingale"

Colours of Fire

The Life of Hanna Chrzanowska

by Gosia Brykczysńka
ISBN-13:  978-0884930105
ISBN-10:  0884930106
Library of Congress Control Number:  2014905477

Paperback edition:  118 pages   $9.95
eBook edition:  118 pages  $2.99
Publisher:  William R. Parks

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About this book:

Biography of a registered nurse who circumvented the Nazi and communist regimes to help people in need.
This is a story about a Polish nurse, Hanna Chrzanowska (1902 -1973). Hanna was a great Polish patriot. During the Second World War, her tireless work with the homeless and refugees in Kraków significantly avoided mass hunger and outright starvation in the over-crowded city. After the war, Hanna, established and coordinated Catholic Parish Nursing in communist Poland. She worked for most of her professional life as a qualified nursing instructor in the field of community nursing, in schools of nursing in Poland. She is a model for today's generation of nurses and healthcare workers.
About the author:
Dr. Gosia Brykczyńska resides in London, England.  She started her career as a humanities graduate with a degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies with a speciality in Soviet medicine. After further studies in medical anthropology and nursing, she pursued work in pediatric oncology nursing. Eventually returning to work in the humanities field she taught health care ethics and obtained her doctorate in philosophy. Dr. Brykczyńska has written several professional books and also translated poetry from Polish into English. Shortly before retiring she worked for the European Union with the Royal College of Nursing in the United Kingdom preparing nursing professionals from Central Europe for admission to the Single European Registration. Dr. Brykczyńska is bi-cultural and bi-lingual and spends much of her free time in Poland.
Reader review:
Nurse Hanna Chrzanowska may help obtain cures for ailments.

by Al Roberts
If any readers experience graces during reading of this book please report such occurrences to the publisher: wparkspublishing@aol.com The publisher will submit them to the priest in charge of obtaining evidence of graces obtained through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Nurse Hanna Chrzanowska (1902-1973).

Florence Nightingale is generally recognized as the founder of modern nursing although born in England in 1810.  Her biographer reports that at the early age of seventeen, she heard, as did Joan of Arc, the voice of God urged her into service dedicated to alleviate human suffering.  Despite tremendous obstacles and opposition from family and friends, Florence sacrificed her high social position to a total commitment to nursing, a non-profession at that time.  She gained nursing knowledge and experience by visiting pioneer nursing efforts in Germany.  When the Crimean War broke out, despite enormous obstacles and opposition, she led a nursing expedition to the Crimea to nurse thousands of British soldiers.  Through her superhuman efforts, she converted the primitive, filthy military hospitals into sanitary ones with highly trained volunteers.  She deservedly is called the Mother of Modern Nursing.  When she died in 1910, six sergeants of the British Army were pallbearers. 
Hanna Chrzanowska is the twentieth century Florence Nightingale.  Dr. Brykczynska has written a modest biography of this amazing woman whose unbelievable and never-ending projects rescued, treated, and protected the most vulnerable in a Poland repeatedly occupied by foreign armies, foreign officials and brutal German and Russian secret police.  Her lifetime spans the twentieth century history of a subjugated Poland: 1902-19, a Poland partitioned by the German, Russian and Austrian Empires; 1918-1939-life in a free Poland but poverty stricken and suffering from the Great Depression; 1939-the shock of Blitzkrieg, the German invasion which started World War II; 1939-45-the brutalization of Poland by the German Army, the SS and Gestapo, the concentration camp system, the viciousness of front-line warfare and uprisings; the post-war 1945-89 an era of harsh communist rule by a Moscow controlled government with its secret police.  Through it all, Hanna organized and led open and clandestine projects, which nursed, protected and saved countless victimized people of all ages and backgrounds. 
In the introduction, the author describes Hanna as “…a woman who worked real miracles of loving, active compassion in a socialist country that normally speaking would have happily put her in jail.” and also describes her as “…one of the first candidates for sainthood who was also a registered nurse.”  These accolades are based on her numerous works of mercy for the ill and forgotten performed under dire circumstances.  Hanna remains as a wonderful model for present-day nurses and health care professionals.
Colours of Fire is not only a brief biography of an unusual personality but at the same time is an insightful look at the domestic and tragic events of European history during the first three quarters of the twentieth century: the collapse of continental Empires, the two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War.  Hanna C. lived, survived and was a successful nurse crusader in spite of those harrowing times.  This biography describes Hanna’s genius and labor in successfully organizing aid and comfort to thousand of desperate and impoverished men, women and children, and doing so under dire circumstances for an unbelievable half-century.  These dire circumstances were one calamity after another: namely the collision of armies on the Eastern front in both World Wars; the Great Depression of the mid-war years, the Holocaust and other ravages of Nazi and Communist Dictatorships.
This book also describes the associations Hanna had with historically important figures, namely: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II; the Szlemkiers of Warsaw, entrepreneurs and philanthropists; Mother Urszula, founder of an order teaching nuns and canonized a saint; Cardinal Prince Adam Sapiecha of Krakow; Mlle. Greinev, director of the School of Nursing in Paris France; and Miss Florence Vanderbilt, Director of Nursing at the old Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.
This short biography by Dr. Gosia Brykczynska entitled Colours of Fire and subtitled “the Life of Hanna Chrzanowska”, was published in 2014.  It consists of 106 pages of which six pages are black and white photographs.  The front cover carries a black and white photo of Hanna and the back cover displays a color photo of the author and Hanna’s co-worker, Alina Rusman.  It is organized into twelve chapters and span chronologically Hanna’s life and times from her birth in partioned Poland in 1902 to her death in a Communist controlled nation managed by Moscow.  Chapter titles illustrate the chronology:  Chapter 2-Early Years and Childhood, Chapter 3-Adolescemnce, Chapter 4-Young Adulthood, Chapter 7-The War Years, 1939-45, Chapter 9-Life in the People’s Republic, Chapter 12-The Final Years 1966-1973.  The book’s price is a bargain at $8.95 and can be purchased on-line from Amazon.com.

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