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Thread: Ukrainian Nostalgia

  1. #1
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    Ukrainian Nostalgia



    Polish film director, Janusz Majewski, before WW2 lived - as a boy - with his parents in an apartment in a solid tenement house in Lwów.

    The janitor in that building was an ethnic Ukrainian, with a Ukrainian surname and Ukrainian accent, but he was not very open about his nationality before WW2, and he always talked to the Majewskis in Polish, in local "Lwowski Dialect". Shortly after the Soviet Invasion of Poland, when Red Army units occupied Lwów, the Majewskis saw their janitor armed with a rifle and wearing a Red, Communist, armband. He just became a member of the Voluntary Militia of Workers and Peasants, which collaborated with new Soviet authorities. The militiaman spoke to the crowd, he said that the time of "Polish Lords and Capitalists" was gone, and soon they were going to be dealt with!

    Indeed, the NKVD started arresting ethnic Poles and sending them to gulags in Siberia. But the Majewskis were spared. Before June 1941, they were not harmed by Soviet repressions. No imprisonment, no deportation. In June 1941, Wehrmacht entered the city.

    Several days after the German takeover of the city, the same janitor came - once again armed with a rifle and wearing an armband. But this time, his armband was Blue and Yellow instead. He once against spoke to the crowd. He proclaimed, that soon, in copperation with the Germans, Independent Ukraine was going to be reborn! And Polish Lords and Capitalists will either go "back" behind the San River on their own, or will be expelled!

    Fortunately, during German occupation there was relative Ordnung in the city. In Lemberg itself, Germans did not let Ukrainian Insurgent Army to do the same things, which heywere doing in villages of Volhynia and in more eastern regions of Galicia - genociding Polish inhabitants, causing their mass flight, and burning down little towns and villages. In Lviv itself, no such things were happening.

    So the Majewskis were lucky again and survived until 1945 without major harm.

    But soon it became obvious, that in post-war Europe Lwów was not going to be a Polish city anymore. It became part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Parents of Janusz Majewski had to leave the city and were relocated to Lower Silesia, like other Poles from Ukraine.

    Fast forward a few decades, and Janusz Majewski, already an accomplished film director, decided to confront his adolescent memories and visit his home city. The Soviet Union still existed, but under Gorbachev living standards were declining.

    The city looked very unattractive compared to its pre-war beauty.

    Majewski found his old tenement house. And there, of course, he met his old janitor. The men recognized each other. Majewski was invited to his flat, where he still lived. Ex-janitor, now retired, was complaining about his life. He was left alone after his wife died, his son got married and emigrated to Russia deep into the USSR. After the deportation of Poles, the City Council brought some "savages" from Central Asia and located them in his tenement house. He could not stand living in the same building with them.

    The man lived poorly. The tenement house had not been renovated for many years, the building was decaying. Many fragments of plaster fell off, installations kept getting broken, water shortages in the pipes lasted for several hours each day, the sewage system was stinking - in other words total Communist Soviet ruin and neglection. By the end of their meeting, the old retired janitor said: "Oh, Mr Janusz, can you see what bad times we are living in? Can you see how badly they treat US THE POLISH PEOPLE now?"

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Interesting story. Thank you.

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    Good one super user

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    Hehe, sad but true. Something like converting from active members of communist party when it was suitable to worst nationalists kneeling in the first row in the church in my country. Not just a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Polish film director, Janusz Majewski, before WW2 lived - as a boy - with his parents in an apartment in a solid tenement house in Lw�w.

    The janitor in that building was an ethnic Ukrainian, with a Ukrainian surname and Ukrainian accent, but he was not very open about his nationality before WW2, and he always talked to the Majewskis in Polish, in local "Lwowski Dialect". Shortly after the Soviet Invasion of Poland, when Red Army units occupied Lw�w, the Majewskis saw their janitor armed with a rifle and wearing a Red, Communist, armband. He just became a member of the Voluntary Militia of Workers and Peasants, which collaborated with new Soviet authorities. The militiaman spoke to the crowd, he said that the time of "Polish Lords and Capitalists" was gone, and soon they were going to be dealt with!

    Indeed, the NKVD started arresting ethnic Poles and sending them to gulags in Siberia. But the Majewskis were spared. Before June 1941, they were not harmed by Soviet repressions. No imprisonment, no deportation. In June 1941, Wehrmacht entered the city.

    Several days after the German takeover of the city, the same janitor came - once again armed with a rifle and wearing an armband. But this time, his armband was Blue and Yellow instead. He once against spoke to the crowd. He proclaimed, that soon, in copperation with the Germans, Independent Ukraine was going to be reborn! And Polish Lords and Capitalists will either go "back" behind the San River on their own, or will be expelled!

    Fortunately, during German occupation there was relative Ordnung in the city. In Lemberg itself, Germans did not let Ukrainian Insurgent Army to do the same things, which heywere doing in villages of Volhynia and in more eastern regions of Galicia - genociding Polish inhabitants, causing their mass flight, and burning down little towns and villages. In Lviv itself, no such things were happening.

    So the Majewskis were lucky again and survived until 1945 without major harm.

    But soon it became obvious, that in post-war Europe Lw�w was not going to be a Polish city anymore. It became part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Parents of Janusz Majewski had to leave the city and were relocated to Lower Silesia, like other Poles from Ukraine.

    Fast forward a few decades, and Janusz Majewski, already an accomplished film director, decided to confront his adolescent memories and visit his home city. The Soviet Union still existed, but under Gorbachev living standards were declining.

    The city looked very unattractive compared to its pre-war beauty.

    Majewski found his old tenement house. And there, of course, he met his old janitor. The men recognized each other. Majewski was invited to his flat, where he still lived. Ex-janitor, now retired, was complaining about his life. He was left alone after his wife died, his son got married and emigrated to Russia deep into the USSR. After the deportation of Poles, the City Council brought some "savages" from Central Asia and located them in his tenement house. He could not stand living in the same building with them.

    The man lived poorly. The tenement house had not been renovated for many years, the building was decaying. Many fragments of plaster fell off, installations kept getting broken, water shortages in the pipes lasted for several hours each day, the sewage system was stinking - in other words total Communist Soviet ruin and neglection. By the end of their meeting, the old retired janitor said: "Oh, Mr Janusz, can you see what bad times we are living in? Can you see how badly they treat US THE POLISH PEOPLE now?"
    Really cool story, thanks)

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    Thank you for sharing, it is quite an interesting story.

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