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) NOWOGRÓDEK
District (Powiat) Nowogród
Our settlement lay 18 km east of Nowogródek, by the road leading to Szczors, beyond the river Niemen and towards the Nalibocka forest. It adjoined the town of Niechniewicze, where there was a church, an Orthodox Church, communal local government offices, a primary school with seven-year groups, a post office, a police station, a fire station, shops served by the Jewish population and a co-operative dairy founded and managed by the settlers. The fire station was managed by a settler. There was also a Farmers’ Club which held courses in cookery, sewing and housekeeping.
In Nowogródek we had a provincial farmers’ co-operative where one could buy farming machinery, new varieties of potatoes, seeds and fertilizers.
The soil was good; the plots were approximately 16-20 hectares. Our settlement comprised 18 military settlers.
The farms were generally well-managed. There were a lot of new plantations of orchards, vegetable plots and flower beds, the roads were lined with willows and linden trees, and in the fields there was beautiful corn.
A settler held office as head of the local government. There was a small library, from which parents borrowed books, while the young people took advantage of the school library.
National holiday celebrations were arranged by the school in which the majority of children were Byelorussian. There were very few of us but we all took part together. Religious festivals, on the other hand, were organised by settlers. Within the school there were two scout patrols – girls and boys.
The Byelorussian population, on the whole quiet and poor, worked in the fields and as domestic help. There were a few communists amongst them; to begin with they burnt our barns, so it was necessary to organise ourselves and post sentries each night. After a while, it quietened down and we continued to live in peace.
Settler families comprised on average three to five children. Our family was made up of eight siblings. In addition to the farm, we also owned a small restaurant in the town.
From our settlement there were ten children who attended grammar school, most of them in Nowogródek where there was a boarding school for settlers. But children also went to school in Baranowicze, Wilno, Warsaw and technical schools.
The wives of our settlers came mainly from the areas of their husbands. Only one was local.
The settlers were: Franciszek Krawczyński, Antoni Ryl, Leon Kwieciński, Aleksander Taczała, Capt. Majcher (?), Florian Kamiński, Piotr Pudło, Jan Wolf, Franciszek Włodarczyk, Konstanty Żurek, Stanislaw Szabunia, platoon leader Stefan Wdowczyk, Piotr Wojno, Jan Kolder, Stansiław Majek, Józef Jarosz, Julian Lasota, Stanisław Jóżwiak.
Witold Szabunio has written about the deportation of his family from Niechniewicze.