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Mieczysław Ćwiklińska could not marry her lover for six years

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska could not marry her lover for six years

  • She was 21 when she made her debut as Mieczysław Gryf at the Ludowy Theater in Warsaw. She quickly changed the nickname he had chosen by chance to her grandmother’s maiden name
  • She believed that the camera was an enemy of women and refused roles in films. She first appeared on screen in 1933. Until the outbreak of the war, she starred in 37 productions
  • She stood on the wedding carpet three times. Her husbands were: journalist and writer Zygmunt Bartkevich, merchant Henrik Mader, and publisher and bookseller Marian Steinsberg.
  • During the occupation period, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska worked at Café Bodo and U Aktorek. It also belongs to the secret intelligence organization Muszkieterzy
  • The text was written in the chandelier series “Stars of the Second Polish Republic”.
  • You can find more of these stories on the Onet homepage

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As the legend says, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska She was born in the theater closet, and early Childhood They spent behind the scenes county theaters. One of the biggest Stars of the Second Polish Republic He was born on January 1, 1879 in Lublin. she was a daughter Actresses Alexandra Vychkovska, a Russian officer, has never met her biological father. In 1881, her mother married fellow classmate Marceli Trapsza, who 11 years later recognized Michislawa as his child. The girl at that time was a student with a salary in Poznan. She wanted to be a teacher She wouldn’t have followed in her parents’ footsteps, at every public appearance (example: when she was handing out flowers Helena ModerzigoskaIt was a huge challenge for her. Throughout her life, she struggled with stage horror.

My friends told me: This is the daughter of an actress. He was considered a child the actor You should be able to play anything, and I I had an incredible horror of theatre. When I was about to go up on stage, I didn’t want to do anything, they forced me out– Mieczysław Ćwiklińska was called in ‘Conversations with Mrs. Miecia’.

The film camera was considered an enemy of women

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska did not become a teacher. Initially, she ran a fashion salon in Warsaw, At the beginning of December 1900, she made her debut – as Mieczysław Gryf – on the stage of the Ludowy Theater Under the supervision of his father, Marceli Trapsza. Joyful critics evaluating her performance wrote: “The liveliness of movements and freedom in handling the role, exemplary speech, inherent lightness in conducting dialogue, and sometimes a touching tone of sincere feelings – these are positive and endearing advantages.”

The third theatrical role (in the comedy “Jejmość Burmistrz”) Alexander Fredero) actually played as Mieczysław Ćwiklińska, resigning from a randomly chosen pseudonym in favor of her grandmother’s maiden name. The audience loved her.

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The film roles of Mieczysław Ćwiklińska brought immense fame. She made her screen debut in 1933 in the comedy “The Happiness of the Subject”. Michel WasczynskiNext to you Eugene BodoAnd the Ina Benita and Tom Conrad. She was 54 years old at the time. She received offers earlier but turned them down. She admitted in an interview with “Akran”:

When she saw herself on the screen during the screening of her first movie, She announced that she would not appear at the premiere. She was afraid of the audience’s reaction. Unnecessarily, because in the role of Idalia Porecka, she once again demonstrated her comedic talent. until the explosion World War II She starred in 37 films. She was for her friends “Ćwikła”, for fans – the queen of pre-war Polish comedy. Although she played mostly supporting roles, her name in the lead became the guarantor of full-fledged cinemas. Tadeusz Boy-Silinski he wrote:

Photo: NAC / National Digital Archive

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska, Jerzy Pichelski and Aleksander Zelwerowicz in “Granica” (1938)

The first divorce was her fault. For six years she couldn’t get married

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska’s private life (unlike her successful career) was filled with failures. star II Republic of Poland Not so lucky in love. She married for the first time in July 1897 (some sources say 1896) Zygmunt Bartkevich. Journalist and painter over 11 years old He turns out to be a drunkard and a womanizer obsessed with the jealousy of his young wife. marriage It lasted 14 months. Mieczysław (then Trapszo) packed her bags and left لودód, where she lived with Bartkiewicz, for Warsaw, where she began her artistic career. Abandoned husband refused to give it to her divorce.

In 1908, Henrik Mader, son of the owner of the Victoria Hotel, ul. Jasna 8. I fell in love with him with reciprocity. The ambitious man first decided to make a fortune in Colombia, and only then marry his beloved, who was still officially married. In July 1909, Mader left for South America, and Ćwiklińska was looking for a speedy divorce. She changed her denomination and in 1911 was the Augsburg Evangelical Church He dissolved the marriage of the actress and Bartkevich “due to the fault of his wife” who could not marry as a punishment for six years.

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska

Photo: NAC / National Digital Archive

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska

Before that, in June 1919, Ćwiklińska became the wife of Madera, her fiancé cheated on the actress with her friend. I forgave him for this case. after, after wedding She pretended not to see her husband’s betrayal. Even Henrik betrayed her with Olga Neuska – a sculptor who came to Warsaw to make a bust of the actress. Ćwiklińska packed her things, moved out of the communal apartment and filed for divorce, which she probably got in Vilnius in 1928.

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“Work is taking up, I had less time for household chores, What my husband, who loved social life, parties and happy visits, could not accept. This is often the case with a couple’s divergent interests, especially when the wife is busier and busier. and yes My great true love is over– Mieczysław Ćwiklińska was called.

after divorce I entered romantic With Stefan Hnydziński, an actor 21 years younger than himwho stole it and ridiculed it in the environment. In September 1931 in Bydgoszcz, where she came as a guest, she met Michislav Ćwiklińska Marian Steinsberg. this is Warsaw bookseller and publisher, eight years younger than him of jewish descent He would send her several bouquets of flowers every day. The sleeping car, on its way back to the capital, was flooded with roses from it. Steinsberg became the third husband of the actress. Their wedding in 1932 (some sources say 1933) was quiet and secret. They live on the seventh floor of an apartment house in Al. 3 May 5. They went to Italy on a honeymoon.

The third marriage also did not last. When Ćwiklińska worked from morning to evening, Steinsberg would spend her money on evenings with friends in the most elegant places in Warsaw. The actress spent the summer of 1939 alone. She planned to move to Podkowa Leśna and live in Villa Trambo, which she built with her half-brother, Władysław Trapszo (Chemical Engineer, Fire Extinguisher Factory Manager). The outbreak of war changed her plans.

She took the secret of her espionage activity to the grave

During the occupation, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska She did not agree to performances in open theaters, she worked in Café Bodo and U Aktorek. apartment in al. He is still involved May 3rd with Steinsberg. The man not only ignored the Nazi order to wear the Star of Zion badge, but also kept books for which he could be imprisoned or kept in a camp. Ćwiklińska was repeatedly called to the Gestapo headquarters in al. Socha, where she was asked about her husband. She replied that she did not know anything about him. In order to get money for the criminal’s escape to Switzerland, the actress sold two valuable Chinese vases. Steinsberg was captured at the border and imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto, where he died of starvation and exhaustion in 1943.

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska in her apartment in al.  May 3

Photo: NAC / National Digital Archive

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska in her apartment in al. May 3

No one in family or friends knew that Mieczysław Ćwiklińska was a spy during the occupation of the secret Polish intelligence organization Musketeers, It operates all over Europe. She was a friend of its captain Stefan Witkowski. As historian Jerzy Rostkovsky claims in his book The World of Knights. Forget it or Die, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska bought Witkowski’s body from the Germans (for half a million zlotys). He was killed in 1942 on the basis of an illegal ruling of the Military Court of the Homeland Army, and then buried. where? She took this secret with her to the grave.

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After the war, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska starred in only one film – “Graniczna Street” Alexander Ford. It was successful again in theaters. From November 1958 to May 1971, she was delighted with the role of the grandmother in the play “Trees Die Standing” Alejandro Casona, in which she has appeared more than 1,500 times.

“Some people are surprised that I still want to work at my age. But My job is my life. When I stop working, I will die– I explained.

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska (on Wednesday), Maria Della (on) and Jadwiga Smosarska in Nałęczów (1963)

Photo: NAC / National Digital Archive

Mieczysław Ćwiklińska (on Wednesday), Maria Della (on) and Jadwiga Smosarska in Nałęczów (1963)

In 1971, at the invitation of Bologna America, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska went on tour in the United States. She flew an airplane for the first time in her life. The deteriorating state of health (problems with movement, I could hardly hear and hear) forced the actress to say goodbye to the audience.

On the night of July 26, 1972, Michislav Ćwiklińska experienced pains and began vomiting. The ambulance took her to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition acute cholecystitis. On July 27, she had an operation, after which she did not regain consciousness. She died at noon on July 28, 1972.

“She was represented in the most beautiful and deepest sense of the word, so Someone who exposed their whole life, revealed and gave to others their minds and hearts as daily food– He said at her funeral Gusto Holbeck.

On the 40th anniversary of the death of the actress, Mieczysław Ćwiklińska Street in the Biaołęka district of Warsaw was identified, next to Elżbieta BarszczewskaMarianne Wirzykowski and Hanka Ordonone.

The material was created thanks to Onet’s collaboration with the partner of the National Digital Archive, whose mission is to build a modern society aware of its past. NAC collects, stores and makes available images, audio recordings and films. Digital photos can be viewed on

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