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 (out of print)
ISBN 1 872286 33 X
Province (Województwo) WOŁYŃ
MARIA KRUCZKIEWICZ (KACPERSKA)
OSADA KURHANY ON THE HORYŃ RIVER
Postal District Mogiłany
District (Powiat) Zdołbunów
Our settlement was called Kurhany, just like the village 2 km from our home. I suspect that the name was derived from a kurgan, a tumulus grave located at the entrance to the village. It was fenced around to ensure peace for those who were resting inside. I do not know the history of that region, which is a pity, because it seems that in years past, interesting things took place since another nearby village was called Mogiłany [Ed. note: in Polish - graves]. So many connections with graves. And even on our own meadow, as I recall, there was a little mound resembling a grave. So, our neighbourhood was an area of graves.
This settlement of ours was very small, with only ten settlers. One of them died early (I never met him), so before the war there were only nine remaining. A widow after the deceased settler married another settler, and the two plots of land were combined, even though legally it should have belonged to the daughter from the first marriage.
The names of the settlers:
Stefan Kacperski (my father) was from Łódź and had a wife from the vicinity of Płock. There were four of us children. The settlement had no school. There was a four-grade school in the village Kurhany, where the settlement children went for the first two years. Later, everyone looked for another school for their children. We went to a public primary school in the town of Ostróg, and later two of us went to a junior high school, where we studied until the war. We were taken from there on February 10, 1940 and were joined with our parents on a railway wagon.
The second settler, Kazimierz Kornacki, had a wife from central Poland. She died young. They had one son who attended junior high in Ostróg. The son was deported to Russia without his father, who left the settlement before the deportation.
Józef Sanecki arrived at the settlement already married to a lady from central Poland. The couple was childless. They both escaped before the deportation.
Józef Tykałowicz had a local wife, originally from Czechoslovakia. They had two sons. One of them attended junior high in Zdołbunów. The entire family was deported.
Wiktor Sosnowski, local wife, two kids, none attended junior high. He escaped deportation with his family.
Piotr Mystowski, widower, married a local widow. Each of them had a daughter from a previous marriage. Together they had four children which made six. None of the children attended a junior high. He was deported with his family.
Wacław Barwiński, local wife, no children. He was not deported.
Julian Iwański had a wife from centralPoland who was the widow of settler M. Rybczyński. She had a daughter who studied homemaking in Lisków. He was deported with his family.
Józef Kozłowski, wife from centralPoland, three children studying in Zdołbunów, two of them in junior high school. He managed to escape with his family before the deportation.
As I already mentioned, the settlement did not have a school or a church. To get to the nearest church (a very nice) one had to drive 12 kilometres to Ostróg, if possible. From time to time a priest visited the KOP guard station (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza) [Ed. note: Border Protection Corps] when everyone participated in the mass.
Because we have lived by the forest with nice meadows, scouts and guides from all over Poland visited us in summer for camp. In the evenings people gathered around their bonfires. Flower crowns were floated down the river Horyń. Picnics were organised with dances on the grass and various fun and games.
In the middle of the settlement there was a cross. It was the custom to gather around it in May for communal May services. The Village Housewives Association organised cooking schools from time to time where various delicacies were prepared. When the cooking school was over, these delicacies were shared with soldiers invited from the guard station.
As far as the relations with the local population go, I can say that my parents, and especially my mum, were close friends with the nearest neighbours. My parents were invited to Ukrainian weddings. I have never been to such a wedding, which I regret because they were very ceremonial and interesting.
Near our house was a railway used by trains – a Polish one to Szepetówka in Russia, and a Soviet one to Zdołbunów in Poland. On that very line and by train but in a cattle wagon, we travelled for the last time on February 10, 1940. With the last glance we said goodbye to our house and the place where I was born and raised.