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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 in:History


  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

    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…

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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