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New Book on CD Chronicles the Horrors of Life in Post-World War II Poland

ARLINGTON, Texas — Several years ago on a research trips to Bukowsko, Poland, Deborah Greenlee was given part of a chronicle written by Kazimiera Kochańska. The diary was written during the end of World War II and the beginning of “Operation Vistula” (“Akcja Wisła”), the codename for the forced resettlement of Ukrainian minority (including Boykos and Lemkos) from the south-eastern provinces of post-war Poland, to the Recovered Territories in the west of the country.

The action was carried out by the Soviet-installed Polish communist authorities with the aim of removing material support and assistance to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which continued its guerilla activities after the war’s end in both Subcarpathian and Lublin Voivodeships.

Operation Vistula brought an end to the hostilities, but not without a heavy toll.

Kochańska, a teacher at a school in Bukowsko, was witness to the horrors that took place in southeast Poland.

Greenlee was moved by educator’s account, and felt compelled to have the chronicle translated into English.

“Kochańska’s heartfelt writings needed to be made public to the English speaking world,” said Greenlee. “This undertaking turned out to be no small feat. Aside from trips to Poland, over 400 hours was invested in this project and several other people helped.”

Kochanska’s writings were detailed and well-described. “They will transport you to the village and the horrors of Bukowsko. This account is so extraordinarily written from the perspective of an educator; notches above that of a young child. But, similar in so many ways and just as emotionally powerful,” said Greenlee.

Kochańska was so much more than a teacher, principal and civic advocate. In the end she turned into the first major historian of her beloved Bukowsko during these years of turmoil. She gave herself, first and foremost, to her student’s welfare in ways which were profound. “Never putting herself first and working in terrible conditions was so remarkable,” said Greenlee.

A memorial plaque in Kochańska’s honor was placed on the elementary school in Bukowsko several years ago and she was again honored in June 2016. (Readers wishing to learn more about the ceremony should visit Greenlee’s Trip Diary of June 2016 at www.polishfamily.com).

“My hope is that those who read Kronika Bukowsko will gain a better understanding of what life was like for the Polish residents in Bukowsko and neighboring villages, especially right after World War II, when Poles and UPA’s banderowcy (the idiomatic name used by Poles and Jews to describe Ukrainians who participated in the genocide of Poles).

The Kronika project would have never seen fruition were it not for the untiring efforts and exceptional expertise of Roman Kaluzniacki, who translated and organized this work; and Dave Greenlee, Debbie’s son, who aided in making the book available on CD.

The CD contains images of the original text, a transcription in Polish, an English translation and photos.

All proceeds from the sale of Kronika Bukowsko (minus postage) are being donated to the kindergarten in Bukowsko, a poor community. Copies of the CD cost $23.15, which includes the CD and postage.

To order, contact Deborah Greenlee at daveg@airmail.net.


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