They called her the Angel of Ravensbruck – the notorious concentration camp where her outstanding courage and the efforts she made to comfort her fellow prisoners became a legend. Countess Teresa Lubinska survived the concentration camp, but she did not survive the violence of post-war London.

On the evening of Friday, May 24th, 1957, the countess, 77, went to a Polish-Catholic celebration at the home of friends in Ealing. When she left to catch an underground train, she was with a priest, who got off the train at Earls Court station. She went on to the next stop, Gloucester Road, and alighted from the train a 10.19 p.m.

Three minutes later she collapsed in the station lift, crying, “Bandits! Bandits!” Her last words were, “I was on the platform and I was stabbed.” She died before reaching hospital.

The post-mortem determined that she was stabbed five times in the chest with a knife with a blade only about two inches long.

Why, and by whom? Robbery was excluded because she was wearing a valuable silver brooch and still had her handbag with her. A politically motivated killing seemed more probable – she was opposed to the post-war Polish Government, which she castigated regularly. She was also the chairperson of various Free Polish organisations.

The Polish community did not rule out an attack by former Nazis as a reprisal against her criticism of the Hitler regime and what it had done to her country.

Detectives at the murder scene noted that escape for the killer was simple – the lift shaft at Gloucester Road isn’t deep and a fit man could run up the emergency stairs in 45 seconds. In those days the lift took 48 seconds. More than 20,000 people were interviewed over a period of four years, but no arrests were made.