Ettinger Mieczysław

Mieczysław Ettinger - Personal data
Date of birth: 15th October 1886
Place of birth: Warszawa
Date of death: 31st May 1947
Place of death: Kraków
Occupation: barrister, member and vice-president of the Supreme Bar Council
Related towns: Warsaw

Ettinger Mieczysław (15 October 1886, Warsaw – 31 May 1947, Kraków) – barrister in Warsaw, member and vice-president of the Supreme Bar Council (Polish: Naczelna Rada Adwokacka; NRA), outstanding defender in criminal cases.

Born on October 15, 1886, in Warsaw as the son of Henryk, an outstanding barrister in criminal trials, member of the Polish Bar Council, president of the Criminal Section of the Legal Society in Warsaw. He attended Russian state secondary school in Warsaw, from where he was expelled for participating in the school strike in 1905. He passed his matriculation examination as an extramural student. In the years 1906–1911, he studied law at the University of St. Petersburg.

After graduation, he returned to Warsaw, where he became an assistant to the sworn barrister at the District Court Chamber in Warsaw, and in 1917 he became an attorney. We could not confirm Juliusz Wisłocki's information that in 1920 he served in the Polish Army as a sub-prosecutor of the Military District Court in Warsaw, and then an assistant at the Supreme Military Court in Warsaw.

Ettinger he was an outstanding figure in the milieu of Warsaw barristers. Among others, he was the chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Legal Society in Warsaw, a member of the District Bar Council in Warsaw and the vice-president of the first board of the Bar Association of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Koło Adwokatów Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: KARP) established on January 18, 1932. The following year he became a member of the KARP Main Board Audit Committee. On 1 December 1932, he was elected a member of the presidium and secretary of the first NRA, established on the basis of the regulation enacted by the President of the Republic of Poland, Law on the Bar System (Polish: Prawo o ustroju adwokatury) of 1932. In November 1932, he was appointed to the NRA by the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland, Ignacy Mościcki (Ettinger was a member of the Supreme Bar Council - NRA until the end of its three-year term). As the secretary of the NRA, along with its two other members, he expressed his condolences to Aleksandra Piłsudska after the death of Marshal Józef Piłsudski and as a representative of the NRA participated in the funeral ceremonies. He was also a member of the State Tribunal of the Republic of Poland.

In 1932, he was a defence attorney in the famous trial of Rita Gorgonova (a movie based on it was made in 1977). He defended in political matters, among other activists of the Belarusian Peasants’ and Workers’ Union. He was the author of articles in ‘Gazeta Sądowa Warszawska’ (from 1917), in ‘Palestra’ and in the French-Romanian barristers’ monthly ‘Tribuna Advocatilior’ (he was also a member of its editorial board).

After the outbreak of the Second World War, he continued to practice as a barrister until 1 May 1940, he, and other Polish lawyers of Jewish origin, were removed from the list of barristers by the German occupation authorities. Afterwards he was the real estate administrator in the Warsaw ghetto. It is not certain whether he was the first disciplinary spokesman for the Jewish Community at the Legal Department of the Judenrat, as Stanisław Gombiński stated in his memoirs, or whether this post was held by criminology professor Adam Ettinger (Mieczysław Ettinger is sometimes erroneously mixed up with him). According to some accounts, Ettinger was one of the founders of the Jewish Military Union.

Probably in the summer of 1942 he left the ghetto. He was hiding in Warsaw at Halina Więckowska under the names of Adamski and Sadowski. He used the support of the Żegota Council to Aid Jews. After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, he was deported to Bochnia.

From February 1945, he ran a law firm in Kraków. He defended in trials at the Military Regional Court (Polish: Wojskowy Sąd Rejonowy; WSR) in Krakow. From 9 January 1946 until his death, he was the vice-president of the NRA. He was a member of the Alliance of Democrats (Polish: Stronnictwo Demokratyczne) and United Democratic Movement (Polish: Zjednoczony Ruch Demokratyczny), he was also member of the board of the Municipal National Council in Krakow.

Mieczysław Ettinger died in Krakow on 31 May 1947. He was buried at the Rakowicki Cemetery in Kraków. He was married to Ada née Szymanowska, daughter of a Warsaw attorney Józef Szymanowski.

Marek Gałęzowski


  • ‘Dziennik Polski’ 1947, no. 147, p. 3, no. 148, p. 3 [obituaries];
  • Gombiński S., Wspomnienia policjanta z warszawskiego getta, Warsaw 2010, p. 247;
  • Lista adwokatów okręgu Sądu Apelacyjnego w Warszawie (Okręg Izby Adwokackiej w Warszawie) na dzień 15 grudnia 1938 r., Warsaw 1938, p. 13;
  • Prekerowa T., Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942–1945, Warsaw 1982, pp. 135, 419;
  • Redzik A., Zarys historii samorządu adwokackiego w Polsce, pp. 51, 63, 64, 128;
  • Redzik A., Kotliński T., Historia Adwokatury, Warsaw 2012, pp. 151, 195, 199, 201, 222, 252, 259, 264, 265, 313;
  • „Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej”. Polacy z pomocą Żydom 1939–1945, eds. W. Bartoszewski, Z. Lewinówna, Warsaw 2007, p. 766;
  • Wisłocki J., Ettinger Mieczysław, [in:] Polski Słownik Biograficzny, Kraków 1948, vol. 6, pp. 315–316.

The first edition of the biography appeared in: Słownik Biograficzny Adwokatów Polskich A–Ż, vol. III (died in 1945–2010), Warsaw 2018, pp. 100–101.
Reprinted with the consent of the Supreme Bar Council.


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