A sense of belonging in the old country

Christine Hudder

BARRY’S BAY – It’s a journey that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

As Kashub Day Festival draws near, the president of the Wilno Heritage Society reflected on his latest two-week trip to Poland with his wife Beverly, his sister Mary Blank and brother-in-law Clifford Blank.

Peter Glofcheskie and his companions travelled to Poland in 2018. They landed in Warsaw and took the high speed train from northern Poland to southern Poland, to Kraków.

Peter said the Kraków region is where many Galician families of the Valley came from; for example, the Plebons, Drevnioks, Hudders and Maikas.

Their trip started with a tour of Auschwitz; a prison, extermination and slave labour camp annexed by Germany during World War II.

“It was a very sobering experience,” Peter said. “Everybody from Barry’s Bay that has a Polish or German name probably had someone die in Auschwitz.”

In the early days, before they began tattooing prisoners, Nazis would take photographs of prisoners in the camp. Dotting the walls today are photos of people with recognizable names like Recoskie, Ostroskie and many more.

Peter said he was surprised to see a gentleman’s photo accompanied by the name Antoni Biernaski; which bares the same name as his wife’s grandfather. It wasn’t the same person, as Antoni was two years older and died at the camp.

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