Teresa Łubieńska, née Skarżyńska (Russian Poland, 18 April 1884 – London, 25 May 1957), was a social activist, Resistance fighter – lieutenant in the Polish Underground Army – and survivor of two Nazi concentration camps. After World War II, she settled in England, where she worked on behalf of Nazi-German camp survivors. In May 1957, she was the victim of an unprovoked and fatal stabbing at London's Gloucester Road tube station. The assailant was never traced.

Teresa Łubieńska
Teresa Skarżyńska

(1884-04-18)18 April 1884
Died25 May 1957(1957-05-25) (aged 73)
London, England
Occupation(s)Polish Red Cross organiser, Polish Resistance fighter, Home Army officer, and a social activist
Clan Pomian
Łubieński family crest

Biography edit

Born into a noble Polish family in South-eastern Poland, she was the daughter of Władysław Skarżyński and his wife, Dorota Gołębiowska.[1] Teresa was educated at Jazłowiec College, an élite Catholic boarding school for girls, run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, in Jazłowiec in the Podole region.[2] In 1902 she married Edward Łubieński (1871–1919), a member of a once powerful clan and went to live on the family estate in Łaszów.[3] They had a son, Stanisław, born in 1906 followed by a daughter, Izabela, born in 1910.[4] There, Teresa became an active member of the Polish Red Cross and continued supporting the 14th Regiment of Jazlowiec Uhlans, an association dating from her school days.[5][6] She was widowed in 1919. Her son attended a military academy and passed out as a cavalry officer, later killed in the September campaign of 1939.[7] Early during the German occupation of Poland in World War II Teresa moved to Warsaw and lived at no. 6 Sierpnia Street. During the occupation, she organised assistance for the civilian population of the capital. Her flat was also the venue of clandestine meetings of the Polish resistance cells. In 1942, she was betrayed to the Nazi authorities, arrested and taken to the Pawiak prison for interrogation. From there, she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp and later moved to Ravensbrück concentration camp where her death sentence was commuted owing to the timely intervention of the Swedish Red Cross.

After liberation, Łubieńska came to the United Kingdom along with thousands of other displaced persons from German camps. She settled in London where she resumed her work on behalf of war-time prisoners and sought compensation for them. Łubieńska was a close friend of World War II British agent, Krystyna Skarbek, also known as 'Christine Granville', who was murdered by a stalker and whose funeral she attended at Kensal Green Cemetery in June 1952.[8]

Fatal attack edit

Teresa Łubieńska was stabbed five times on the evening of 24 May 1957[9] on the eastbound Piccadilly line platform at Gloucester Road, in an unprovoked attack on her way home from dinner with friends in Ealing.[10] Until the previous stop at Earl's Court, she had been in the company of a Polish army chaplain, Fr. K. Krzyżanowski (himself a survivor of Dachau concentration camp). A few days before her death, she had told friends that she had been to the police to tell them that she felt threatened and that her life could be at risk. The Police subsequently carried out 18,000 interviews in the course of their murder investigations.[11] Her death remains a mystery.[12] Teresa Łubieńska died in St Mary Abbots Hospital, Kensington in the night of 25 May 1957. She was buried at Brompton Cemetery in London.

In 2021, the case was the subject of Episode 6 of Railway Murders.[13]

References edit

  1. ^ Polish genealogical site: http://www.sejm-wielki.pl/b/16.78.299
  2. ^ Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM: http://niepokalanki.pl/old/index.php?op=en Archived 17 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ in Polish: Brandys, Marian. Koniec świata szwoleżerów, volume 1, Czcigodni weterani, MG, Warsaw 2010. in this hugely popular history (first published by Iskra in 1972), about the post-campaign life of the light cavalry that had served in Napoleon's Russian campaign, the Łubieński family were prominent as magnates and industrialists
  4. ^ in Polish: Nejman, Halina. Szlachta Sieradzkahttp://tpzw.zdunskawola.pl/files/herbarz/l-l.pdf Archived 23 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine an historical account of the nobility in the Sieradz area.
  5. ^ in Polish: Koło Ułanów Jazłowieckich, Dzieje Ułanów Jazłowieckich. Praca zbiorowa. Wyd., 'Odnowa', London, 1988. 416 pages. A history published by London-based veterans of the regiment
  6. ^ Memories of Regimental veterans settling on a former Russian military training area in the Inter-war years, greatly assisted by Teresa Łubieńska
  7. ^ in Polish': Wesołowski, Andrzej. http://www.lomianki.info/document.php?did=375
  8. ^ Mulley, Clare. The Spy Who Loved: the Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville, Britain's First Female Special Agent of World War II, Macmillan, 2012; ISBN 978-1-4472-2565-2.
  9. ^ "The murder of Countess Lubienska, 1957".
  10. ^ Oates, Jonathan (15 June 2010). Great Train Crimes: Murder & Robbery on the Railways. Grub Street Publishers. ISBN 9781844683260.
  11. ^ "18,000 Interviewed in Murder Hunt", The Times (53924 ed.): 4, 1957, retrieved 9 April 2016
  12. ^ http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6145391- reference MEPO 2/11010
  13. ^ "Railway Murders". Rotten Tomatoes.

External links edit