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072. polish immigrants

While not a large percentage of the immigrant population, a fair number of people arrived to Argentina from Poland. The Unión de los Polacos has a large, modern mausoleum along the back wall of the cemetery:

Unión de los Polacos, Recoleta Cemetery

The most illustrious I’ve found are the Count & Countess Zoltowski. He served as the Polish ambassador until his death in 1973:

Conde & Condessa Zoltowski, Recoleta Cemetery

But not all Polish immigrants were so lucky. Many Polish women in the early 1900s were brought to Argentina under the pretext of marriage to a wealthy, local businessman. Unfortunately when they disembarked, they were forced to work in prostitution. It was as dangerous then as it is now & over 1,000 of those women were buried in Avellaneda in a place called the Cemetery of Lost Souls (Cementerio de las Almas Perdidas).

Published inHistory

7 Comments

  1. Keep looking, Robert, and you’ll find a Prince.
    Seriously. Prince Radziwill, former ambassador of the Order of Malta. A polish prince with a lot of money, that died a few years ago. I bet he has a been buried there!

    ps: I dare you to prononunce “Zbicniew Zoltowski”…

  2. He might be hiding out somewhere, but I don’t recall ever seeing a prince. I know a lot of the nouveau riche are using other cemeteries outside of Buenos Aires so Recoleta Cemetery is still for the old money families.

    My Polish is pretty rusty 🙂

  3. Palomain Palomain

    Some traditional families have been losing their old money and therefore selling their share of the Cemetery to nouveaux-riches. Sometimes they even rent the place for the ceremony, for corpses that end up in other, less prestigious cemeteries…

    • Palomain – I was pretty shocked the first time I heard about having an initial service in Recoleta Cemetery, then transferring the casket to another cemetery. But I guess people have to keep up appearances! Saludos!

  4. Fede Fede

    On the left side of the Polish Pantheon in Recoleta you will find a big shiny plaque of Prince Radziwill.

    It is a shame that Poland is now a Republic, but Mr. Radziwill was born as His Royal Highness.

    • Thanks, Fede! I’ve never really looked inside the Polish pantheon, but now I’ll have to check it out on my next visit. Great info.

  5. Fede Fede

    It`s outside, on the left wall of the Pantheon. It is kind off hidden as there is a small hallway/space between the Pantheon and the next mausoleum to the left. I hope it is useful in your documentation of the cemetery. Saludos! Fede

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