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Leon Stanisław Pinecki

Leon Stanisław Pinecki

Leon PineckiHe was born on 6 April 1892 in Stołuń near Międzyrzecz, and died on 26 July 1949 in Sulęcin. A wrestler, athlete, "the king of full nelson", also called by the contemporary press "the Giant of Greater Poland", "Gorilla-Man", Polish mammoth", "Polish tower".

Apart from Zbyszek Cyganiewicz and Teodor Sztekker, he was one of the most famous Polish wrestlers of the mid-war period. He participated in numerous wrestling tournaments in Poland (Warszawa, Poznań, Katowice, Częstochowa, Bydgoszcz, etc.) and abroad (Prague, Berlin, Munich, Königsberg, Budapest and others), as well as in the USA (from late 1931) and in South America.
He had unusual body build: height: 203 cm, weight: from 128 to 143 kg, arm span: 248.8 cm. He won the European wrestling champion's title five times, and the world wrestling champion's title three times. He was especially good at French style and catch wrestling.
His parents came from the Międzyrzecz District in the former Poznań Province, in north-western Greater Poland. His father was a village bricklayer in Stołuń near Pszczew. That was where Leon spent his childhood and adolescence. In the years 1914 - 1918 he was a German soldier fighting in World War I, among others, at Verdun; he was wounded several times. It must have been at the frontline that his body build was noticed. After the war he started practicing wrestling in the Berliner Athleten – Klub. His debut was in 1919.
His professional career started in 1920 in Hamburg. Until 1933, the year when Hitler came to power, he represented the Republic of Poland, e.g. a state of which he was not a citizen and in which he did not have permanent residence.
He participated in numerous professional wrestling tournaments, such as Katowice 1925 and 1926, Gdańsk 1926 - he won the second prize, Warsaw 1927 - he won the second prize, the European Championships and the International Competition for Professional Athletes in Berlin in 1927 and 1928 - he won the fourth prize, the Slavic States Championships in Prague in 1931 - he won the first prize, the Wrestling Tournament with the participation of international wrestlers in Bydgoszcz in 1931 - he won the second and third prize, ex aequo with Teodor Sztekker, the world champion, whom he defeated after an exhausting full nelson embrace. In 1931 he won (for the second time) the gold belt of Berlin.
Pinecki's representation of the Republic of Poland was stopped by Hitler's coming to power. The Nazi authorities forced not only German citizens but also temporary labourers to represent the Third Reich. This referred also to Pinecki - a citizen of the Third Reich coming from the part of Greater Poland which was not included in Poland after the treaty of Versailles.
In 1930 Leon Pinecki purchased a hotel and restaurant in Łagów Lubuski, a picturesque town, formerly belonging to the Order of St. John, and was a businessman until the end of the war. 1933 was the time when brutal Nazi harassment started in Pinecki's life: searches, threats concerning the withdrawal of a concession to run the hotel and restaurant were quite common. He was followed and arrested by the police all the time. He was held in custody in Świebodzin and Sulęcin. When the war with Poland broke out, he was forbidden to leave Łagów, and was constantly observed and oppressed. He was suspected of being a spy, but nothing was ever proved. He was imprisoned several times during the war. He remained under permanent police supervision. During the war he was taken to a penal camp in Potsdam.
In 1940 they wanted to send him to Poland as a policeman but he refused. He was offered a good position but he did not accept it. He was then conscripted to a working company in the army. He was a forced labourer in a farm, and then in a factory. In 1946 Leon Pinecki submitted an application to the Polish Military Mission in Berlin for Polish citizenship and a permit to go to Poland.
In the summer of 1947 Leon Pinecki came back to Łagów where he was still persecuted, now by the District Office of Public Security in Sulęcin. He did not obtain a concession to run the hotel and restaurant in Łagów. He was a member of Artur Czajczyński's wrestling team in Poznań; they wrestled in the towns of Greater Poland. He wrestled in Kraków as well.
In 1948 he moved to Sulęcin and married Helena Piotrowska from Warsaw; they ran a small restaurant together in a tenement house at 14 Market Square. Leon Stanisław Pinecki died on 26 July 1949 from a heart attack. He was buried in a graveyard in Łagów.

In 1986 on the house in which Leon Stanisław Pinecki had lived a commemorative plaque was placed and several years later a street was named after him.


Dariusz Ejchart burmistrz wita jasne

Welcome to the Sulęcin Municipality website. I wish you pleasant reading and invite you to visit the charming Sulęcin Region.

Mayor of Sulęcin
Dariusz Ejchart

serdecznie witam na stronie internetowej Gminy Sulęcin.

Życzę przyjemnej lektury i zapraszam do odwiedzenia urokliwej Ziemi Sulęcińskiej.