Tola Mankiewiczówna has starred in only 6 films and gained immortality

  • She was 32 years old when she first appeared on screen. Earlier, Tola Mankiewiczówna gained the status of operetta and star of the play
  • In December 1935, I stood on a wedding carpet. The chosen one was the lawyer Tadeusz Rabbe. They have been married for 40 years
  • After the war, the artist had to face financial problems, job loss and health problems
  • You can find more of these stories on the Onet homepage

The text was written in the chandelier series “Stars of the Second Polish Republic”.

Is that true Her name was Teodora Oleksa He was born on May 7, 1900 in a peasant family from Bruno near Lomza. She has three siblings: sister Wanda and two brothers Stanislaw and Joseph. The parents (Józef and Aleksandra née Mankiewicz) cultivated more than a dozen hectares. Thanks to their support, the musically talented Teodora, who was called Tula at home, received a solid education. She was 16 years old when she came under the care of her uncle Stanislaw Mankevich. He was a pastor of one of the dioceses near Warsaw and the owner of a house in the Mujahideen. Grabowska 8 in Wola, where Wola lived with her cousin who took care of her. The girl began to sing lessons with soprano at the Warsaw Opera Julia Michona, and is studying at the conservatory at the piano class. Two years later, on December 18, 1918, she sang in the “Countess” of Stanislav Moniuszko. It was not Teodora Oleksa who appeared on the stage of the Krakow Opera, but rather Tula Mankevichona. She adopted her mother’s maiden name as a pseudonym, and added to it the then-popular term “-wna”, similar to contemporary artists. When reporters later asked her about this performance, she explained:

The real debut took place in April 1922 at the Warsaw Opera, where Tula Mankiewiczuna was a soloist until 1931 with a three-year break to study in … Milan. There she worked on the strength of her voice and on stage and musical interpretations. After returning to Poland, she continued her career as an opera singer, but Her operettas and plays brought her real popularity. The audience was especially pleased with the joint performances of Tula Mankivichuzuna and Alexander Shabzinsky on the stage of Morskie Oko.


Photo: NAC/National Digital Archive

Tula Mankevichuna (1936)

Film and love enter the life of Tula Mankevichozuna

The growing popularity of “the biggest star in the theater on Jasna III Street” (the Morskie Oko show was here) meant that Polish cinema finally demanded it. On August 1, 1932, Tola Mankiewiczówna posed in front of the camera for the first time. In the comedy “10% for Me”, which was supposed to be a movie opera, she sang “too softly” (the opinion of the “Wiadomości Literackie” reviewer) a few songs, and “she didn’t have much to say”. Critical reviews did not discourage the 32-year-old novice. She just had to find time to appear in the movie, which was not easy, because apart from singing in operettas and plays, she recorded albums, gave concerts on the radio and gave concerts.

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Tola Mankiewiczówna has appeared in only six films, In “Manewry kochosnych” (1935) and “Pani Minister dances” (1937), she again made a memorable pair with Alexander Żabczyński and sang many songs (including “Let’s go back as in old years”, “Taka night and waltz, And you “”I can no longer hide”), which became part of her usual group.


Photo: NAC/National Digital Archive

Tola Mankiewiczówna at the film debut “10% for me”

It should be noted that the beginnings of Tola Mankiewiczówna’s film career coincided with changes in the actress’s private life. In 1932 she met Tadeush Rabi (In the documents, Jan Tadeus, but he used only his middle name), a lawyer who was four years her senior, from a wealthy Jewish family. I fell in love with him with reciprocity.

“For more than three years, from the moment they met, though everyone knows they are a loving couple with no memory, she still lives in a house at 8 Grabowska, which is in his apartment at 63 Filtrowa Street. She was a singer and actress who was a lawyer . Apart from titles and occupations, everything else is related to them. They were together everywhere And if they are forced to separate, they call each other like lovebirds on the phone, heating their headphones to red” – reveals Ryszard Wolański in Tola Mankiewiczówna. Let’s go back to the old days.”

wedding He took over on December 21, 1935 in the church of Mar. Wojciech in Warsaw. The bride presented herself in an ocelot fur coat with a beaver collar, and in her hands a bouquet of “30 tea roses, specially brought from Holland by plane.” The groom appeared in a gray cloak lined with balls. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in “one of the country’s health resorts”. After returning from our honeymoon, Mr. and Mrs. Raab (The actress took her husband’s surname but did not change the stage name) They live in the Mujahideen. Feltrowa. Their biggest dream did not come true. They did not become parents. She passed on her maternal feelings to her nephew.


Photo: NAC/National Digital Archive

Tola Mankiewiczówna with her husband Tadeusz Rabbe (née) at the Artists’ Party

War separated Tula Mankiwichuna from her beloved husband

At the beginning of June 1939, Rabbit and their German dog Tuś set out on a road trip around Poland. It lasted for about two months. after his return Tula Mankiwichuna was supposed to sing in Cyrulik Warszawski’s “Wielki Mess”, then tour the USA and play in an American movie alongside Jan Kibura. These plans were thwarted with the outbreak of war.

When the actress’s husband was arrested (due to his descent), the apartment on Vieltroua Street was searched and many valuables were taken. Rabe was able to extricate himself and return to his wife that evening. They decided to flee occupied Warsaw. Crossing the eastern border, they were captured by the Belarusian NKVD. Mankiewiczówna regained her freedom a few days later, and could stay in Białystok, where he earned a living by performing at the local theatre. Her husband and other detained Poles of Jewish origin were deported to Kazakhstan.

Tadeusz Raabe went to Stalinabad (now: Dushanbe). Fluency in Russian, teaching experience, and advocacy helped him land a job as a legal advisor at the Stalinabad Textile Combine. When the Sikorsky-Majski agreement was signed, Rabe did not join the army of General Anders, although for some time he served as regent of the government-in-exile of the Second Polish Republic in Tajikistan. He arrived in Poland only with Berling’s army.


Photo: NAC/National Digital Archive

Tula Mankevichuna in the movie “The Minister Dances” (1937)

Tola Mankiewiczówna returned to Warsaw in 1941. She moved in with her sister, Wanda, and her 12-year-old son, Jerzy, on Opoczyńska Street. She communicated with her friends from the theater and cinema, presented in front of the “cafe audience”. Until August 1, 1944, she sang most often in the U Aktorek cafe. After the uprising fell, Tula and Wanda managed to get to Milanov, where they stayed with Tadeus’ sister – Janina Rabi-Vosovichova. They returned to the devastated capital at the end of January 1945.

Financial problems and heart disease

Tola Mankiewiczówna quickly started to wander. In May 1945, when she sang in Otok, she received a bouquet of flowers with it … her husband’s visiting card. Tadeusz Rabbe found his wife. The happy couple, after a short stay in Radom, acquired an apartment in the Mujahideen. Koszykowa in Warsaw. still They lacked money, because, although the actress often performed to the public, she repeatedly sang for free. The situation worsened in June 1956, when Tula Mankivichozuna was expelled by the new administration of the Warsaw State Operetta.

Health problems also added to the financial problems. Because of a heart condition, the artist had to cancel her concerts more and more often. The pension granted to her turned out to be ridiculously low.

“I ask you to forgive me a special pension, since the amount received at the moment PLN 1060 does not allow me to meet the basic needs of my life. I believe that the position he held for 40 years in theatrical life entitles me to this request,” she wrote in October 1963 to the Main Board of SPATiF.

She was not given a special pension (in the amount of 1,600 PLN) until January 1966. For officials of the Polish People’s Republic, Tula Mankivichozona was the star of the Second Polish Republic, which did not deserve special attention. In addition to this, her brother Stanislaw (also known as Anthony Gray) lived in London.

On July 1, 1975, Tadeusch Rabeh passed away. In a recent TV interview, Tula Mankiwichuna stated:

After the death of her beloved husband, she withdrew from public life. Despite the financial problems Donate three thousand. zlotys to rebuild the royal castle in Warsaw. She died on October 27, 1985. The funeral took place four days later. The crowd was saying goodbye to Tula Mankiwichuna. She settled with her husband at the Evangelical Reform cemetery in Warsaw.


Photo: NAC/National Digital Archive

Tula Mankiewiczona was the star of the Second Polish Republic

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, sound recordings, and films. Digital photos can be viewed on nac.gov.pl

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