Historical story

What was the life of women who were associated with the cursed soldiers? Moving stories about love and the fight for Poland

Constant fear, insecurity and longing. When their men disappeared into the backwoods, they had to wait. The worst news was expected at any moment, or a furious pounding on the door. Women who loved the wretched lived a tragic life.

Partisans from the anti-communist underground moved quietly, like ghosts. They appeared and disappeared under the cover of night, taking advantage of the hospitality of their favorable hosts. Such visits on a warm June night sealed the fate of Anastazja Glinicka, a modest country girl from Popowo Borowy, once and for all. Her family's house was off the beaten track and was an excellent lodging for the foresters. In 1948, partisans from the famous unit of Mieczysław Dziemieszkiewicz "Roja", headed by their commander, knocked on the door. For the girl, however, the most important was a young man nicknamed "Pilot", that is Władek Grudziński. Apparently, it was love at first sight for both of them.

Unbearable Waiting

The relationship between Anastasia and "Pilot" described by Anna Śnieżko in the book "Żona Wyklęta" was mainly about waiting. As the author states, Anastasia's whole life was now focused on waiting. She waited days and nights for her beloved or even for any message from him. Her thoughts were still with him, and in the evening, lying in bed, tormented herself with questions:is he alive, is he healthy and safe?

The girl could not tell anyone about her feelings so as not to endanger the soldiers of "Roja". Every day she hoped that Władek would break away from her at least for a moment. When he finally did appear, she still could not fully enjoy his presence. She had to be careful with what her parents said and whether anyone would notice him and report him to the authorities. In "Wife Cursed", Anastazja and Władek say goodbye on Christmas morning with heavy hearts.

- Do you really have to go? - The girl's face was tight with pain.
- I have to. He would never, ever forgive himself if something bad happened to you and your family because of me.
- So again, I only have to wait and fear for you.
- This time I'm not going very far. I'll be around. We will see each other more often.
- Will I see you more often? - A smile lit her face.
- As soon as possible under these conditions.

Anastazja and "Pilot" (photo:press materials of Znak Horyzont publishing house)

Trouble with the wedding

When the guerrilla and his lover decided to marry, it was a real gamble. The UB learned about the marriage plans of Anastasia and Władek. Fortunately, a warning reached them in time. Franciszek Przysieżniak, pseudonym. "Father Jan" and his fiancee Janina Oleszkiewicz pseud. "Jaga" who met at the wedding of other underground activists. They very quickly developed an affection for themselves, which they wanted to seal on December 27, 1943.

When the guests began to come to the wedding, a German unit also came and attacked the village. "Father Jan" and "Jaga" barely escaped. Nine partisans and a dozen or so inhabitants were killed then, and the village where they stayed was burnt. Ultimately, they got married two weeks after the unlucky date. Janina did not have time to enjoy her life with her beloved husband. Just over two years later, when she was seven months pregnant, the UB arrested her and tricked her out of her hiding place (they said they had caught her husband and his last wish was to meet his wife). After a night of torture, she was taken to her parents' house. As she got out of the car and started walking towards him, one of the escorts grabbed a pepeshka and launched a carefully aimed burst towards her.

When the decapitated Janina fell to the ground, the policemen sneaked back, leaving the dying pregnant woman. One of them had the decency to go to the woman's family home to tell her relatives what had happened. Partisans found her, tried to save her, called a doctor, but it didn't help. "Jaga" died and so did her unborn child.

War Eternal Bride

Lidia Lwow-Eberle was a child of a Russian agronomist who came to Poland shortly after the birth of her daughter. Although the birth certificate said that she was Russian, she had a Polish heart, because it was on the Vistula River where her personality was shaped. In 1943, she joined the partisans, after which she traveled the entire combat route of the 5th Vilnius Brigade of the Home Army, whose commander was the famous major "Łupaszko". She achieved the rank of second lieutenant.

These few dry facts are just the tip of the iceberg. A hard life in the forest, more battles, treating the wounded, enduring fear and uncertainty - that was the everyday life of the first woman in Zygmunt Szendzielarz's unit. Its commander was charismatic, he was bursting with wit and Lidia very quickly realized that she was in love, as it turned out to be mutual. However, Łupaszko had a wife and a daughter, Basia. At the turn of 1943 and 1944, Szendzielarz called Lidia and told her that he and his wife were officially separated and that there was nothing to prevent her from becoming his fiancée. He proposed to her in the presence of his aide. However, the wedding never happened.

The wife of "Łupaszka" was in Germany on forced labor, so there was no legal divorce. It did not bother Lydia. She loved her commander, and the fact that she was just his fiancée did not bother her. And so they lived together like a marriage. When Szendzielarz had to hide, she was with him. Everyone treated them like husband and wife. In their wandering, they first wandered to the sea, then they ended up in Podhale, where the UB caught them.

Lidia Lwow-Eberle in prison (photo:public domain)

In communist custody, she was not tormented like many other underground soldiers, but by the court she was sentenced to life imprisonment with deprivation of public and civil rights for five years, with the simultaneous forfeiture of all property. Just before the execution of "Łupaszka", they were somehow allowed to see them, although many couples were denied this. Lydia could talk to her lover one last time and kiss him goodbye. Soon after, she learned that the sentence in Szendzielarz had been carried out. His remains, hidden by the communists, were found and identified only recently.

Their wounds brought them together

When at the end of the fight Stefania Krupa ps. "Pearl" from the "Wołyniak" unit was hit in the leg, she was running to help her injured colleague. Then she was lifted from the field on an old drip, and other nurses took care of her care, and then ran to relieve the next wounded. The "pearl" was taken on a wagon and transported with another seriously wounded partisan - "Kul", that is, Aleksander Pityński.

The forestry unit was in the vicinity of Jarosław, where it was welcomed as warmly as possible by the locals who had problems with attacks by Ukrainian nationalists from the UPA. Armed Polish soldiers guaranteed their safety. It so happened that Stefania and Aleksander ended up in the same cottage and stayed with each other all the time and… the pain in the wounds did not manage to cool their nascent feeling. When a group of refugees after the UPA raid came to Jarosław, the commander of the unit took the opportunity and smuggled his people to the hospital among them, including two lovers. They left the hospital as fiancés. After they healed their wounds, they returned to the ward.

Monument "Partisans in Boston" by the son of "Perełka" and "Kula" Andrzej (photo:Rob Glover, license CC BY-SA 2.0)

On January 20, 1946, a detachment of armed partisans marched out of the forest and went straight to the church, where "Perełka" and "Kula" vowed to each other love, faithfulness and marital honesty. They left the underground in 1947, when Stefania was pregnant, but this did not mean the end of problems. After the birth of his son, Alexander decided to reveal himself. When it seemed that everything was going to be all right, "Kula" got into a fight with the provocateur, the soldier's instinct was triggered - he snatched the gun from him, hit him in the head and started to run away. He hid, but after his wife and child were threatened, he surrendered himself to the UB. He was tortured, held in prison, but finally released and allowed to return to his wife. But that was not the end of the repression.

The house of Stefania and Alexander was regularly searched by the militia, and communist officers repeatedly staged raids and provocations. They also beat Pityński many times. On one occasion, when they particularly bullied the "Ball", "Pearl" wanted to shield it, but received a powerful blow from a rifle butt, which knocked her off her feet. Alexander was tortured by six security officers, and then the battered man was taken away in an unknown direction. Everything in front of my wife and little son. Eventually he was released, but until the fall of the commune he remained in the circle of the security services. Repression also fell on the son of the "bandits". He was even tried for defending his father who was beaten by provocateurs.