The Spiewak Family

English summary of the site

On this website, information is collected about the history of the Polish family Spiewak. The family branch described here is descending from Jozef Spiewak and Karolina Spiewak (nee Radon) from Harta in south-eastern Poland. As a Pilsudski's legionnaire and a veteran of the victorious Polish-Soviet war (1919-1920), Jozef Spiewak received in 1921 a piece of arable land in Wolyn (Polesie Wolynskie), on the eastern side of the Bug river. The parcel was located in the Zapole village near the town of Luboml (then Polish, now Ukrainian territory).

In the beginning of World War 2, this part of Poland had been invaded and occupied by Soviets. On 10 February 1940, the whole family was deported to Soviet concentration camps in Siberia. Jozef Spiewak was split from his wife and children, and imprisoned in a separate camp for men. After Germany had attacked the Soviet Union, a communist-controlled Polish Army was formed in order to reinforce the Red Army. For Polish prisoners, this was a chance for regaining a bit of national dignity. Jozef Spiewak joined the army and never returned. Shortly before his death, he was released from the service due to his poor health. According to a family legend, he was killed by Ukrainians while trying to rescue family's property in Zapole. The place of his last rest remains unknown.

The rest of the family, Karolina Spiewak and her 10 children were striving for survival in deportation camps. One of the children was brutally murdered, the youngest sons were subjected to russification in a Soviet orphanage. Most of the family miraculously survived, which was against all odds in Siberia, where less than 10% of all deported survived. In spite of the brutal russification, the children managed to maintain their Polish identity. After the war, the survivors were repatriated and settled close to the new western border of Poland. Nowadays, their descendants are disseminated over the whole country.

This website is intended to preserve the family history for future generations and to enforce family relations. Most of family documents were destroyed or stolen during the WW2. As a result, this story is mainly based on spoken word. This knowledge vanishes with every family senior passing, hence the idea of creating this website. Biographies, memories, and photographs will be collected here.

This service is provided in Polish because all family members known to us are Polish nationals. However, there are some indications that our relatives (family names: Spiewak, Parypa, and Radon) may also live in the USA. We would be happy to hear from them.

Dedication: This website was created on 21 August 2003 as a birthday gift for my father, Zygmunt Spiewak.

© Radoslaw Spiewak (contact).
This page is a part of the website.
Page created: 26 November 2003, last updated: 28 March 2010.