My name is Czesława Grzybowska née Rachel. I was born in Rześniówka, Zarudzie, district Krzemieniec, Wołyń. My father was Stanisław Rachel - born March 31, 1884 in Żbikowice, district Nowy Sącz (Austrian partition) and my mother Ewa née Trembecka - born September 26, 1900 in Podhorce in the Lublin region (Russian partition).

Poland lost its sovereignty at the end of the 18th century to three neighbouring powers: Russia, Prussia and Austria. After the First World War Poland regained its independence in 1918. In 1920 Russian Bolsheviks invaded Poland from the east again but they were defeated by the Polish Army under the leadership of Józef Piłsudski. The Polish Government then made plans to resettle the abandoned land, in the east, known as the Eastern Borderlands (Kresy) initially with Polish soldiers and then with Polish families. 

My father was called up to the Austrian army as a young boy. In the war with Italy, he was wounded in the head and went blind in one eye. His father, Michał, left for America during the mass emigration of people from Podkarpacie, looking for a better life overseas. He left behind his wife Agnieszka Suchodolska with three adult children. The eldest, Kasia, was already married to Augustyn. Michał did not make any money in America and unfortunately after a few years he died. The whole family then decided to look for a better existence in Wołyń, Kresy where the youngest Ludwika married a military settler called Borucki

My mother Ewa Trembecka lost her father at the age of 10, and her mother, Anna Małek, when she was 16. Ewa had two brothers, Stanisław who was much older and Władysław who was 13 at the time.  Stanisław was already married and he took over the care of his younger siblings. As Ewa was 16 she had to help out in the home. It was Stanisław who decided to look to improve their situation by moving to Polish Wołyń.

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