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2: MY FAMILY TREE   8: MY FAMILY SURVIVORS in POLAND 12: ANCESTORS - Part 1 : Origin and Records    
4: MY FAMILY ANCESTRY in POLAND 13: Rymaszewskis in present-day POLAND
5: PINSK UNDER COMMUNIST TYRANNY 10: Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 1     14: Rymaszewskis  WORLD-WIDE (Part 1)
    MIETEK'S MEMOIRS OF GULAG       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 2       Rymaszewskis in the USA (Part 2)
6: MY ESCAPE FROM STALIN       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 3 15: EMAILS from Visitors


Date: 1 October 2000

My name is Franek Rymaszewski

I live in Australia, in the city of Sydney. Australia is a sunny, free and democratic country of great cultural diversity. There are very many immigrants here, from all over the world. Most immigrants came soon after the war. In that period they were British, Italian, Greek, Polish, Yugoslav, Dutch and German. I came from Poland ... originally.
This is my story :


I was born on 25 October 1923 in Poland and lived in town Pinsk, then Poland. During the Second World War, in April 1942 at the age of 18, I joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West. It was an Allied army, attached to the British army in England. The volunteers were recruited by the Free Polish Government-in-Exile located in London. This Polish Army in the West was the fourth largest armed force during that War and participated on every front of the war. (Point at my photo).

When Germany was defeated and the war ended in 1945, I could not go back home, because — to my great disappointment and concern for my future — Poland was still occupied. But instead of Germans, the Soviet Red Army and the KGB, their notorious Secret Police (then called NKVD), were the occupiers. Moreover, the eastern part of Poland generally called Kresy, where I come from and where my family home in town Pinsk and my grandfather's landed estate were, has been totally annexed as part of the USSR.

The Soviet Union, which in 1939 assisted Hitler to start the war, later became, accidentally, our "ally" in the war with Germany. From the beginning, the Soviets, while getting aid and resourses from the West, proved to be uncooperative and unreliable, and in the end they turned out to be the invaders and ruthless occupiers themselves. Many Polish soldiers who returned home from the West after the war, were arrested by the KGB and deported to Soviet gulags. Having already experienced what life under communism was about, I had no choice but to remain in the West.

After discharge from the Army with status of an Alien, and therefore second-class citizen, I worked at lowly paid manual jobs in London, studying hard in the evenings to catch up with my education. Eventually I won a very modest scholarship from the Polish Exiled Government in London for a three year full time tertiary course in Building, being available as a study in "an area of post-war national importance". Although it was not my chosen profession, I completed the course with distinction.

With diploma in my hand, I applied for an advertised position in Australia. The vacancy was for a design draftsman with the Australian Iron and Steel Pty Ltd in Port Kembla, south of Sydney, and included an assisted passage. They selected me and, in 1955, I emigrated aboard the migrant ship s.s. New Australia. I was then already 32 years old, and single.

s.s. New Australia arrives in Sydney in 1955

After four years of working in Australia, doing overtime, saving my wages and living frugally in the staff hostel next to my employer's smoky Steelworks, I felt increasingly very lonely. And in 1959, I went back to England. I undertook additional studies in London, living on my savings, and qualified as a Structural Engineer. Afterwards, I went to have a look at life in Canada. Over there, I worked for Du Pont of Canada Ltd in Montreal, Quebec, an industrial chemical company building their own factories for the new technology of plastics production. Eventually I went to Toronto in Ontario, where I got married in 1962.

As time went on, the world political situation was becoming grim. The Free Western world was facing the Communist Soviet world committed to a systematic attempt to take over any country it could by sending its agents and money, and spreading their communist propaganda. This continuous provocation was described as the "cold war". In this situation I became convinced that Poland would not become free in my lifetime, unless there was a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Such a war was unthinkable, therefore it meant that there was no hope for me and my family of ever going back home to my own country.

Canada was attractive. The countryside looked much like I saw in Kresy in Poland. It reminded me of my happy childhood and the forests —  I liked the smell of fir and pine resin. However, Australia, although a dry and "a sunburnt country", offered better prospects and protection for my three infant children — as far away as possible from Communism and their nuclear threat. So I decided to return to Australia ... And, in 1966, I made my home in this country.


Sydney in 2000

I am now 77 years old. We are the only Rymaszewski family in the whole of Australia at this time, and I am the only member of my original Polish family still living.

Before it is too late, I thought, I should leave some record about our origin — who we are, and where we came from — and save my children's heritage from being lost forever.

As many descendants of immigrants know well, it is so easy to lose the family history and so hard to gain it back. So I devoted this website to my family background and to our genealogy.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of family history is very limited, because in September 1939, with the outbreak of the Second World War, my part of Poland was invaded by the Soviet troops in collusion with Hitler. And on 13 April 1940, at the age of 16, I was uprooted from my home in Pinsk, by the Soviet Secret Police, and deported to Siberian hard labour, frost and famine. At the same time I have lost my father, executed by firing by the Soviets, also I've lost my brothers and my country.

After two years of suffering in Siberia, I was very fortunate, thanks to Hitler attacking the Soviet Union, to get out of the USSR still alive in April 1942, with the General Anders Polish Army.

I survived the Soviet tyranny, the Siberian toil, famine, frost, and pneumonia without any medical treatment, also scurvy. One of my three brothers, Edward, also survived, and one of my three cousins, Mietek. We were all very young. After evacuation from Russia to the free world, Edward was 23, Mietek 20, and I was 18. As volunteer soldiers, we all went on to fight the German occupant in Western Europe.

But after the war we could not return to Poland which we loved and for which we have fought. At a conference with Stalin in Yalta on the Crimea in February 1945, when the war was nearing its end, my homeland was handed over to the brutal and barbarous Soviet occupant by the President of the United States, Roosevelt and the Prime Minister of Britain, Churchill — the very Anglo-American Allies we fought for.



YALTA (USSR) - February 1945  :  Blood on their hands
Roosevelt (USA) and Churchill (UK) agreeing to leave Poland under brutal Stalinist occupation.



My children and I have been cut off from Poland and our heritage by the Soviet "Iron Curtain", Soviet erected "Berlin Wall" and Soviet nuclear rockets pointing at us in the West.

After war service, the fate finally brought me to Australia. For 50 years, I have been isolated from my homeland and my past. I have no family documents or records to help me with my genealogy except what my father told me before he was murdered by the Soviets and what I remember myself. And some photos and notes. My children grew up without contact with their roots and without educational help in their mother language and heritage, which other migrant children in Australia have been receiving from their free mother countries.

We are the survivors of the forgotten communist holocaust.
The one perpetrated by the Soviet Union.
Soviet persecutions were much more extensive and cruel than the German

Yet, they were ignored by the West and its media.






Family oak tree

Our Family Tree, a solid Polish oak, had suffered a raging Communist storm and was uprooted.

One of its offshoots, still weak, is now growing in Australia.

YEAR  2007

12th September 2007 : THE YOUNGEST DESCENDANT

One-day-old Henry Kasper Rymaszewski, my second grandson, the son of Julian, is held by myself, his 84-years-old grandfather (dziadek)


In June 2001, at the age of 78, I had a heart attack due to vascular blockages — a result of lifelong accumulation of cholesterol which could have been prevented. In September 2002 I underwent an open heart bypass surgery for heart failure. With a new start I hope to live long. Rymaszewskis are known for longevity.

Year 2007 - Age 84

No worries!

In the meantime I am still completing my website and on my birthdays my three children and seven grandchildren sing to me in Polish:
STO LAT ! — May you live a 100 years !


My literal translation:
Hundred years, hundred years, may you live, live for us,
Hundred years, hundred years, may you live, live for us.
Once more, once more, may you live, live for us !
May - you - live - for - us !

In October  2008 I have moved out of Sydney and lived in
the city of MELBOURNE till 2013


In October 2008 I have moved out of Sydney and lived in the city of Melbourne, 1000 km away. My relocation was arranged by my daughter Celina living in Melbourne who offered care, if necessary, and support due to my advancing years. I am now 87 years old.

However, I still live independently near the downtown, look after myself and continue to maintain this website.
Melbourne downtown in 2008 (Flinders Railway Station)

Franek Rymaszewski, age 86, next to a lemon tree at his small back yard, his "garden in pots"





Polish WW2 veterans taking part in Anzac Day march in Melbourne on 25 April 2013



Franek Rymaszewski, age 89, taking part in Anzac Day march in Melbourne on 25 April 2013.

Due to insufficient strength for marching I am being driven in an army jeep. I sit in front next to an Australian Army driver.




In November  2013

After living 5 years in rainy Melbourne, I moved back to sunny Sydney in November 2013 and now live in a suburb Seaforth. This move was necessary because my daughter Celina's husband Shane was transferred to Sydney by his company. I am now 90 years old and live together with my daughter's family.

However, I still keep my independence, look after myself and continue to maintain this website.

View from our house in Seaforth over Sydney Middle Harbour



September 2015

At the age of 92
the time has come for me to be closer to any sudden medical assistance and everyday life care.

The selfie on the right of myself and my daughter Celina was taken on the night before leaving home in Seaforth and moving to aged care home among people in similar situation.

Of course I have taken my computer with me and installed it in my room, and what you see now is my current addition to the website.

Beechwood - Allity Aged Care home
Beechwood - Allity Aged Care home

Australian flag and anthem:


I feel at home and happy in Australia, and I have no problem with Queen and Monarchy, but I wish Australia had a distinctly australian looking flag, a neat flag like Canada has for instance , instead of a current post-colonial flag.

Australian flag

New Zealand flag

Tuvalu flag, etc.


I think the flag below with a boomerang, designed by Ross Carter who hoped it would be shown to the world as our flag in the 2000 Olympic Games, is the answer.

First Australian throwing a boomerang

* * *


Also, I wish we had an easy to sing national anthem, an enthusiastic anthem with plain words instead of current exercise in musical scales with fancy poetic lyrics.

I believe 85% or more Australian citizens (including myself ) are not able to sing their own national anthem for the above reasons, and have difficulty to understand the meaning, to pronounce and to memorize its words.

First World War : The Second Australian Imperial Force marching through Sydney singing "Waltzing Matilda", an unofficial australian national anthem

* * *

21st Century Australia of multicultural diversity but joined by one feeling of being an Australian, needs a proper flag and anthem so that during national celebrations they arouse our emotions, pride and patriotism.


Dedication :

I extend my fatherly blessings to my children and grandchildren.

I hope they keep our Polish heritage alive in their hearts for generations to come.

And I hope my website will continue throughout the next millennium.

Year 2000

Year ????

Year 3000


Postscript :

When the time comes for me to depart into Eternity, my son JULIAN will let you know. He will post the news on the NOTICE BOARD below.

After my death Julian will take over this website.



the first ancestor of Rymaszewski family tree in Australia, former wartime exile from Russian occupied Eastern POLAND and child-slave in Siberia, who found home in this country, died on 21 July 2018 at the age of 94.

This website was LAST AMENDED
on 20 January 2019
This website has been visited
times since 1 October 2000
I hope you will find something of interest to you.

2: MY FAMILY TREE   8: MY FAMILY SURVIVORS in POLAND 12: ANCESTORS - Part 1 : Origin and Records    
4: MY FAMILY ANCESTRY in POLAND   13: Rymaszewskis in present-day POLAND
5: PINSK UNDER COMMUNIST TYRANNY 10: Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 1     14: Rymaszewskis  WORLD-WIDE (Part 1)
    MIETEK'S MEMOIRS OF GULAG       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 2       Rymaszewskis in the USA (Part 2)
6: MY ESCAPE FROM STALIN       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 3 15: EMAILS from Visitors