Born in Zaleszczyki (Tarnopol voivodship in the Second Polish Republic) in 1923. Her mother Aniela was Polish, her father Ivan was Ukrainian; he had a carpenter’s workshop before World War II. In 1939, her father was called up into the Polish army and fought during the Polish September Campaign. Barbara Medyńska-Michajłow attended primary school before World War II, and then a secondary Jewish school. During the German occupation she worked as a cashier at the fire-fighting inspection, an insurance institution controlled by the Germans. One of her brothers served in the Ukrainian underground movement and was killed during the German occupation. After the war Barbara Medyńska-Michajłow graduated from a commercial institute and worked for a bank until 1952. Then, she started library studies, and after graduation ran a county library for children, then she worked at a boarding house at the school for difficult children. After graduation from the Kiev Institute of Pedagogy she started working as a speech therapist at the school and hospital in Zaleszczyki. Barbara Medyńska-Michałjowa lives in Zaleszczyki, she is the mainstay of the Roman-Catholic and Polish community in the town.