Historical story

Alluring and dangerous. Eight worst women in pre-war Poland

You wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley after dark. These eight women sowed terror in pre-war Poland. At the same time, each of them has become a star sought after by the media. A celebrity for her time.

There is an element of evil in all women, according to the Polish sensational press in the early 1930s.

Journalists, primarily those from the widely read crime magazine "Secret Detective", started a real campaign against murderers, embezzlers and brothels. Each of them, as long as her crime was sophisticated enough and her face and figure alluring, had a chance to gain gloomy fame. And especially if she was not only a criminal, but also a great and influential lady.

A degrading trial awaited her in the future. Now, however, all of Poland was talking about it. From Gdynia to Stanisławów. And everyone wanted to know why she did it.

Maria Lewandowska…

... in October 1931, she inundated Poznań with blackmail letters. She sent them to the most respected financiers, industrialists and clergymen. Each time she pretended to be the addressee's former lover and demanded money in exchange for keeping silence. It is not known how much she earned this way.

Julia Kucharska at her trial. She doesn't seem ashamed of anything.

According to the press, it could have been even tens of thousands of zlotys. A great result, taking into account the fact that Lewandowska was no escort but a bored millionaire from one of the best families in Wielkopolska. Was it all just for fun?

Julia Kucharska…

... she also lived among luxuries and was used to having everything she owed her. When she got into financial trouble, she had no qualms - she killed her brother Zbigniew Gierszewski in cold blood. A well-known Warsaw architect and millionaire. All because of Napoleon and his code. The French invented a system in which the deceased are inherited first by the children, and after them by siblings (excluding the spouse and parents). Julia loved high life which she couldn't afford anymore.

The specter of bankruptcy flashed into her eyes, and impatient creditors were knocking on the door, so she decided to act. The crime was vulgar, but it was close, and no one would have noticed it. Kucharska shot her brother in the head, while competent Polish policemen ... did not notice the gunshot wound at all and pronounced suicide by poisoning.

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Only a vigilant funeral home worker alerted the authorities to the suspicion of murder. As a result, Kucharska was brought to trial and, in the spring of 1939, she was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. She did not have time to appeal. It was interrupted by Hitler and the outbreak of World War II.

Wanda Parylewiczowa…

... also belonged to the strict social cream of pre-war Poland. Her husband was the second-highest judge in the country. Her brother - the minister of internal affairs and the fourth most powerful man in Poland. However, Wanda herself was, above all, a pathological shopaholic. She ran into gigantic debts which she was afraid to tell anyone. To improve her situation, she founded a gang specializing in paid protection.

In exchange for money, she offered positions in public administration, favorable court verdicts, concessions and tax exemptions. She hired a resourceful Jewish vendor to help, who in turn recruited a whole army of intermediaries. When the case came to light, the Polish state literally wavered. Never in the history of the Republic of Poland has there been a greater corruption scandal.

Zofia Zyta Woroniecka…

Happy fiancés:Zyta Woroniecka and Bruno Boy. In three months, she'll shoot him straight in the back.

... she was not only a great lady, but also a real princess. She came from the proud Lithuanian family of the Woroniecki princes, the Korybut coat of arms. However, she did not lead a fairy-tale life. She had a relationship with the cunning bonvivant Bruno Boy, whose sole purpose was to seize her family's fortune.

It was perfect between them. At least until Bruno discovered that no fortune existed. The Woroniecki family were once true magnates, but they went bankrupt after Poland regained independence. Hearing this, the perfect fiance changed rapidly. He became a calculating sadist overnight.

Finally, Zyta could not stand the mental torture and in November 1931 took his life with seven pistol shots. The press hailed her as a "nymphomaniac", "vampire" and "new Catherine the Great".

Maria Ciunkiewiczowa…

… Did not deserve similar epithets. On the other hand, it was said that she was the greatest embezzler of the Second Polish Republic. She boasted the title of countess and the aristocratic coat of arms. The truth was, however, that she had made her fortune through favorable affairs, not a dignified background.

In her youth, she became involved with an influential Soviet apparatchik. She later flirted with bankers, politicians, and barons. She settled in France, spending a fortune that she swindled from them. When the money finally ran out, she came to Krakow and faked theft of her own - probably never existing - jewels and furs.

Countess Ciunkiewicz is feeding pigs in her French estate.

She demanded from the insurance company the payment of the policy. The amount was astronomical:twelve million in today's zlotys. Instead of money, Ciunkiewiczowa was sentenced for fraud. 5 years suspended prison.

She claimed that she had been framed and that the whole thing was sewn with thick threads. Even if that was the case, Maria didn't have to worry about it anyway. A good lawyer guaranteed that she would remain unpunished. Like any high-class criminal, even the worst.

Małgorzata Genzlerowa…

... she had to be an excellent actress! Before her husband, she played the perfect wife and mother. Her second life would never have been revealed if it were not for the nosy neighbors who sowed a note of doubt in her husband's heart. When his own mother added her three cents, the goblet overflowed. The older woman saw that Małgorzata leaves the house every day shortly after her husband's departure and returns so that he does not notice her absence. When Francis finally discovered the truth, he could not believe it. His beloved wife turned out to be a pimp and manager of a pedophile gang!

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Małgorzata Genzlerowa with her daughter.

In her second life, Małgorzata provided the most prominent citizens of Poznań with an intimate company of little girls . As if that were not enough, she ran an exclusive brothel with her mother!

When the case came to light, perhaps the biggest scandal in pre-war Poland broke out. The dock was full of dignitaries who played with intoxicated children or helped with pedophile activities. Even one of the organizers of the Greater Poland Uprising happened , Feliks Piekucki.

They had connections and merits, so they were taken lightly. Only Genzlerowa was actually punished. As argued by the court in the judgment issued in August 1932, if it had not been there, the whole scandal would not have occurred .

Maria Zajdlowa…

... from Lodz, she despaired. It was 1938 and someone kidnapped her child, her little Zosia! She pleaded for help from the police and received letters from the kidnappers. In fact, the missing girl was dead. Her own mother killed her in cold blood. Zosia was twelve years old, she went to school, did her homework and was ... one big obstacle.

How was Zajdlowa going to make a new life with such a ball and chain? A few more years and she would lose her feminine charm, and instead of her, her gachs would be interested in her adolescent daughter. She told herself that she had to remove the obstacle in order to be happy again.

Maria Zajdlowa and her twelve-year-old daughter Zosia.

She killed Zosia and secretly got rid of her body, drowning it in a cup . This macabre criminal riddle was unraveled by the commander of the Łódź police, Anatoliusz Elzesser-Niedzielski, and the press launched itself on the case like a herd of hungry vultures. Journalists in their newspapers immediately pronounced the verdict. The life sentence was just a formality.

Rita Fröhlich…

... from Lviv, she was able to pretend perfectly. Together with her partner, she developed the perfect way to get bulk drugs. American cocaine cowboys can hide! The mechanism was simple. They entered the doctor's office together as a couple in love, a married couple.

She feigned pains and fainted. The scared doctor rushed for water to revive the patient, while Rita's partner stole prescriptions and appropriate stamps. First, they visited all private clinics, where they "obtained" prescriptions, then they rushed to the pharmacy. Each time a different one, so as not to arouse suspicion.

Ruthless, decisive and deadly. The most famous criminals of pre-war Poland in the book by Kamil Janicki "Fallen ladies of the Second Republic". Buy with a discount on empik.com.

Before the war, morphine was a legal drug sold by every pharmacist, but of course only by prescription. Clean goods, from a reliable source and inexpensive. The "couple in love" sold their achievements with a tenfold boost. When everything was published in 1930, newspapers all over Poland wrote about the matter.


Before the war, there was also the case of a certain Rita Gorgonowa. Incredibly high-profile murder of the daughter of a Lviv engineer. Criminal, however, was a boring, flat and obvious matter. If the above list proves something, it is that in the Second Polish Republic there were many more interesting stories of female crime. And much more colorful figures of the criminals themselves.


The article is based on source materials and literature collected during the work on the book "Upadłe damy II Rzeczpospolitej". You can buy the book with a discount at empik.com .

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