Fot. Dominik Czapigo
Rafaela Wróblewska
Born on 6 November 1923 in the Polish village of Janczyki (now Kolybaivka) near Kamieniec Podolski (Kamianets Podilskyi). Her father was a fairly wealthy farmer; her father’s brothers owned a wagon factory in Kamianets. In 1930, her father died, and, in 1932, a kolkhoz was established in the village, and her family farm was compulsorily incorporated into it. Two Rafaela Wróblewska’s siblings died during the Great Famine (Holodomor). Rafaela Wróblewska attended a Ukrainian primary school after the Polish school had been closed. In 1936, her family was deported to Kazakhstan together with other Polish families from the village of Janczyki. For 12 years Rafaela Wróblewska lived in the village of Woronicz (Akmolinska Oblast). During World War II one of her brothers was called up into the Polish Army. Rafaela Wróblewska worked in the local kolkhoz; she worked in the field and also cleaned filters in agricultural equipment. During that work she lost both hands injured by frostbite which had to be amputated. In 1948, Rafaela Wróblewska returned to the Ukraine to her home village called Kolybaivka then. Her house was occupied by Ukrainian displaced persons and could have been bought back only after a few years following numerous interventions with the local Communist authorities. Since her mother’s death in 1974 Rafaela Wróblewska has been running a small farm on her own in spite of her disability.