100-year-old woman dies days after being attacked in vicious mugging that left her with a broken neck

Zofija Kaczan was a Holocaust survivor and fled to England with her partner after World War II ended


                            100-year-old woman dies days after being attacked in vicious mugging that left her with a broken neck
(Getty Images)

A 100-year-old widow has died after being mugged by a man. Before she passed away, however, she prayed for the suspect who brutally assaulted her. Zofija Kaczan, who was born in Poland a 100 years ago, died on June 6. This was nine days after the vicious attack left her with a broken neck. She was mugged while she was walking to the local church close to her home in Derby, England. 

The centenarian's friends all spoke of their pain from losing the sweet old lady. They described her in their tributes as being a "remarkable friend" and a "stalwart of the community".

80-year-old Anya Skrytek, who is a close friend of Kaczan, came forward and revealed that the staunch Catholic had "prayed for forgiveness of her killer". The younger woman found the centenarian lying on the street after she was attcaked and immediately called the paramedics.

The authorities have confirmed that a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was previously arrested on suspicion of robbery charges but that changed after Koczan died on Wednesday.

St Maksymilian Kolbe Church, the church where Kaczan used to visit every day, has put flowers outside after the news spread that she died in such a tragic way. The priest of the church, Father Sebastian Ludwin, also lights candles for her inside the church in her memory.

Kaczan's attacker had tried to snatch the bag away from her hands and that's when she broke her neck. Father Luwin speaks about the moment the old woman was taken into the church after she was attacked.

He said: "She had black eyes, a lot of blood on her face and we bandaged her up and sat her in the last pew waiting for an ambulance. The community has been left shocked at what has happened. She was a remarkable woman."

The centenarian turned 100 years old just a month before she was violently attacked. She celebrated the day with the friends she had from her neighborhood. The woman received a blessing from the Pope for her birthday. Since she had never applied for British citizenship since she moved to England in 1948, she did not get a blessing from the Queen.

The fiesty old lady was no stranger to harships. She grew up in Brody, a small town that Nazi forces were occupying in World War II. Sadly, she lost her brother during that time when he was killed by Hitler's men. She was sent to work in Germany shortly after.

One friend of Kaczan said that she was possibly kept in the Dachau concentration camp because she had once said that she worked in two factories making nails and porcelain. After the war ended, she and Mikolaj, her partner, fled to England where they first stayed in Weston on Trent and then moved to Derby.

Another friend of Kaczan said that her husband had died in 2009 and the old woman had been "lonely and depressed" because she was all alone. Her friends had paid her touching tributes and described the Holocaust survivor as an "amazing person" and a "stalwart of the community".

One friend, Zimand, told the Daily Telegraph: "We are just in a state of disbelief that this could have happened and that after such a difficult life she met such a violent end."

Even though the centenarian had forgiven her attacker, her friends do not feel that he deserves any of that forgiveness. 83-year-old Anna Krepa, another close friend of Kaczan, said: "The penalties are too soft in England and this is why there are people committing so much crime. It breaks my heart. If this man has committed murder, he should be hanged."