Zygmunt Modzelewski

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  • "We will miss Grandpa very much! His example means very much..."
    - David and Caryn Coleman
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MODZELEWSKI-Zygmunt born Roman Berger, 101, died on November 26, 2005, in Manhattan, New York. He was born near Krakow, Poland, where he attended the Jagiellonian University. During World War II, in great danger, he and his wife and daughter evaded incarceration in the Jewish Ghettos of Poland and he then recorded his experiences under Nazi occupied Poland in a book, ``Hiding In Plain Sight'' (Capstone Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., 1993). After the war Zygmunt Modzelewski joined the Polish Provisional Government, becoming the first Polish Director of UNRRA (United Nations Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Administration). He then held a series of positions concerned with the reconstruction of Poland. He was appointed Chief Delegate to the UNRRA Council in London and Chief of Mission to purchase American and British industrial and communication war surplus. He came to the United States as President of the Polish American Supply Corporation but, disappointed with the political direction of the increasingly communist government, he resigned his position and, with his wife, the late Jadwiga Eva (nee Hechtkopf), and daughter, received political asylum in the United States. He is deeply mourned by his daughter, Alice Coleman Schelling (nee Berger) of Bethesda, Md.; son-in-law, Thomas C. Schelling, and former son-in-law, Roy M. Coleman M.D.; grandsons, David Daniel Coleman of Mountainview Ca., and Robert Berger Coleman of Portland Or., as well as their families, and by nieces, Wladyslawa Tracz, Barbara Grannis, Erica Mitsidis, Crystal Feldman, and cousin, Miriam Karr. Memorial services will be held in late January, 2006.
Published in The New York Times on Dec. 4, 2005