Translation from the book
Z Kresów Wschodnich R.P. Wspomnienia z Osad Wojskowych 1921-1940
(From: The Eastern Borderlands of Poland, Memories of Military Settlements 1921-1940)
Pub: Ognisko Rodzin Osadników Kresowych (OROK)
(Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers)
London, UK. 1992 and 1998
ISBN 1 872286 33 X
Province (Województwo) Polesie
MARIA WYLOT (WOŹNIAK)
Municipality (Gmina) Wysock
District (Powiat) Stolin
Just as in the well-known song “The Spell of Polesie”, the military settlement of Chylin stretched out through beautiful countryside with the Słucz river estuary flowing into the Horyń on one side and mountainous terrain on the other. There were 10 families of native settlers: Jaworski, Mielczarek, Opiłko, Pietraszek, Pukacz, Sobierajski, Sroka, Staniaszek, Tomczyński, and Woźniak (my father). More and more families soon began to arrive. They were relatives of the settlers or other people buying land nearby.
The beginnings of the development were very difficult. With time, hard work and mutual help and assistance the settlement bloomed and was full of life. In the fields, there was hay, the widest possible variety of cereals, depending on the type of soil. Vegetable gardens were cultivated, and orchards and apiaries were established. A Village Housewives Association and an Agricultural Association were created. There was well-developed pig and poultry farming. Apart from day-to-day activities, there was time for entertainment and social and cultural life. The settlers belonged to the “Krakusi” and “Strzelcy” organisations. In the mountains, on the periphery of the settlement, there were shooting exercises and our mothers had to prepare a meal for all the participants. In the winter animal hunts were organised for fox, wolf, hare, and other game. Policemen from the town of Wysock would also come down for these hunts. In May, picnics were organised in the woods, social events, and dances in private homes in turns.
At the farm of Mr and Mrs Danielewicz, a dairy was set up where they used the dairy to produce Swiss cheeses. Train tracks ran along the settlement to the nearest station of Udryck, located at a distance of 5 km from the settlement.
We had a four-class primary school where several children from outside the settlement also attended. Two teachers and a form tutor of the oldest class Mr. Pisula, taught there. Class 4 was a 2-year class and, because of this, all the children of the settlers after the first year of learning in this class were transferred to a 6-class school in Wysock, and later would go on to study in Brześć or Pińsk. In the summer, we would go on foot to the school in Wysock, crossing the Horyń [river] by ferry. In the winter term, however, the parents would have us stay with selected families in Wysock. First, I lived with my sister with Jewish friends of the family, and later at Mr and Mrs Dziekoński’s.
In 1935, my father took some earth from our settlement to Piłsudski’s Mound in Krakow. A year before the outbreak of the Second World War, a new six-class school was built and the cornerstone was blessed and foundations laid for the new church. The outbreak of the War scuppered the construction plans and the building materials that were collected were looted by the Ukrainians. On 10th February 1940, shortly before dawn, we were deprived of our freedom and forcibly relocated into the depths of the Siberian Taiga.
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