Janina Maria Bułhak|
1 February 1912
Kiev, Russian Empire, now Ukraine
August 1944 (aged 32)|
|Cause of death||Died in the Warsaw Uprising|
(m. 1931; div. 1933)
|Children||Tadeusz Michał (8 April 1944–August 1944)|
Ina Benita (1 February 1912 – August 1944) was a popular Polish actress of the interwar period. She was born Janina Maria Bułhak in Kiev, then part of the Russian Empire. Her father Mikołaj Gerwazy Bułhak was quarter-Polish, quarter-Russian and half-Jewish, while her mother Helena Ferow was Polish (Ferow - rus. Феров - is a russified name of Ferowski). Both of Benita's parents considered themselves Poles and were going to move to Cracow, but when World War I broke out their plans were delayed.
In 1920 the future actress and her family have finally moved to newly resurrected Poland. Some time in the late 1920s, Benita left for Paris and graduated from the Sacré Cœur School. After returning to Poland, she continued her education in Warsaw. Ina debuted on stage on 29 August 1931, with the Warsaw Theatre group “Nowy Ananas” ("New Pineapple"), in the show Paradise for Men (“Raj dla mężczyzn”). One year later she debuted in Ryszard Briske’s film Puszcza. From then on she performed mainly in movies. Benita, however, also appeared on stage, mostly in Warsaw’s revues, such as Cyrulik Warszawski (1937), Wielka Rewia (1938–39), and Ali Baba (since spring 1939).
During World War II, in German-occupied Poland, Benita played in German-sponsored theaters, which resulted in allegations of collaboration with the Nazis. Sometime in 1943 she began a relationship with an Austrian Wehrmacht officer (his name remains uncertain - according to some sources he was Otto Haver, but according to this research his actual name very likely was Otto Hauer), with whom she left for Vienna. In the summer of 1944 Benita's partial-Jewish ancestry (Jewish grandmother from her father's side) came to the attention of Gestapo, and both of them were accused of "Rassenschande" - crime against racial purity - which, under German laws in occupied Polish territory meant a death sentence. However, most certainly due to the backstage pressures from Benita's German admirers, they were judged according to the laws governing in Vienna at the time, and he was sent to the Eastern Front instead, while pregnant Ina Benita was imprisoned in Warsaw's Pawiak heavy prison. There she gave birth to a son, Tadeusz Michał, on 8 April 1944.
Released on 31 July 1944 with her newborn baby, Benita was last seen during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. She and Tadeusz allegedly went down a sewage canal and drowned. However, the exact date and place of her death remain undetermined.
- 1932 – Puszcza
- 1933 – Jego ekscelencja subiekt
- 1933 – Przybłęda
- 1933 – Maryjka
- 1934 – Hanka
- 1935 – Jaśnie pan szofer
- 1935 – Dwie Joasie
- 1936 – Milosc wszystko zwycieza ("Love Conquers Everything")
- 1937 – Trójka hultajska
- 1938 – Ludzie Wisły
- 1938 – Gehenna
- 1938 – Serce matki
- 1938 – Moi rodzice rozwodzą się
- 1939 – O czym się nie mówi...
- 1939 – Doktór Murek
- 1939 – Czarne diamenty
- 1940 – Sportowiec mimo woli
- 1941 – Ja tu rzadze
- "Bułhak, Janina – Ina Benita" (in Polish). Ilustrowany Tygodnik Polski. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "Ina Benita" (in Polish). FilmPolski. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Ina Benita" (in Polish). FilmWeb. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Love Conquers Everything (1936)". IMDB. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Ina Benita Filmography". IMDB. Retrieved 19 March 2016.