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Female, born 1934

Collection: Social Anthropology of filling the Void: Poland and Ukraine after World War II

Oral stories

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An interview with the native and permanent resident of the town  Bibrka, now Peremyshlyany district of Lviv oblast. The woman was born to a multiethnic family of Ukrainians, Poles and Germans - her mother was Polish and grandmother was German. To avoid difficult work in agriculture, the narrator set a goal to gain an education, which she attained in 1953, graduating from the Faculty of Biology of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. A bright childhood memory is the creation of a ghetto in the centre of Bibrka and shootings of Jews near a neighbouring village Strilky. As an eight-year-old girl, the narrator saw the dead bodies of shot Jews in the not yet buried common grave. The interviewee tells about where the Jews lived in Bibrka, their shops in the town’s centre, Jewish neighbours, what they did and how they helped her parents out by supplying products during the war. The woman also recalls her education in the Polish school and her Polish teachers. A separate conversation thread is the aggravation of the Ukrainian-Polish conflict during the war, mutual help in hiding the families of Ukrainians and Poles, repressions of the Soviet government. She told the story she heard from her relatives about the retreat of the Soviet government in June of 1941 and people murdered in prison. The more detailed recollections about life in the village after the war contained the description of the eviction of Poles to Poland, resettled from the East of Ukraine teachers, education and working at school during the Soviet times.
Recorded in Bibrka. The interviewer – Anna Wylegała.
Social Anthropology of filling the Void: Poland and Ukraine after World War II
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