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


9th CENTURY (AD 840 - 966)

The name Poland comes from an ancient Slavic people known as the Polanie (forest clearing dwellers or field dwellers) who in the early Middle Ages settled between the rivers Odra (Oder) on the present western border of Poland and Wisla (river Vistula).

The Polanie tribes united about AD 840 under chief Piast and laid the foundation of POLSKA - the Polish nation.

Poland in 1025

10th - 14th CENTURY

MIESZKO (960 - 992)

Poland begun to figure in European written history under the reign of king Mieszko who led the country into Christianity in AD 966 when the Catholic Church was firmly established in Poland.

His son Boleslaw was crowned by the Pope in 1025.


BOLESLAW (992 - 1025)

The king Boleslaw Chrobry conquered local slavonic tribes with an aim to create a large state able to oppose German expansion towards the east.

The map shows Poland as was left in 1138 to his sons by the king Boleslaw Krzywousty testament. Shaded area was the region of the eldest son.

For five hundred years till the 15th century the Kingdom of Poland grew larger and it was a state inhabited purely by Poles.

Poland in 1140



JADWIGA (1384 - 1399)

Then in 1386 a marriage took place of Jadwiga, young Queen of Poland, to Jogaila, Grand-Duke of pagan Litva. During the ceremony, the duke was baptized in the Latin rites of the Catholic Church as Wladyslaw Jagiello.

The union between Poland and the adjoining Duchy increased Poland's boundaries and population dramatically. The marriage and union were inspired by the common purpose of resisting the aggressive Prussian Teutonic Order (Krzyzacy) in the north.

Soon in 1410, the Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian armies crushed the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grunwald, thereby raising Poland to a leading position among European nations. The whole Litva was gradually Christianized through Poland.

JAGIELLO (1386 - 1434)


  • In 1386 the marriage of Queen Jadwiga of Poland to Jogaila, pagan Grand-Duke of Litva, baptized as Wladyslaw Jagiello, initiated the union of Poland with Litva inspired by the common purpose of resisting the aggressive Prussian Teutonic Order.
  • In 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald, combined armies crushed the Teutonic Order. The army was made up of Catholic Polish knights and the Lithuanian pagans and some Lithuanian Muslim Tartars. There were also Ruthenian orthodox Christians and "heretical" Bohemian Hussites.
  • This victory helped strengthen the bond between the Poles and Lithuanians and led to the creation of one state by the Treaty of Union at Horodlo in 1413.

The film is a vivid, fascinating portrayal of customs and life in medieval Poland.

Brings a wide panorama of historical events including the Battle at Grunwald - 1410.

Watch clip of the film :
"Knights of the Teutonic Order " = "Krzyzacy"

14th - 18th CENTURY

Crown of Polish Kings

Union with Grand Duchy of Litva created one state under Polish Crown, which with time expanded eastwards and northwards, and dominated east-central Europe until the 18th century.

Under the Jagiellonian dynasty, during the 15th and 16th centuries, Poland grew into a huge state in the centre of Europe. In the 16th and 17th centuries Poland was a European superpower, stretching the borders of its Commonwealth from "the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea".

In this period Poland attained great heights of power, prosperity and cultural magnificence.

For example, in 1543, a Polish astronomer Mikolaj Kopernik (Nicolaus Copernicus) publishes "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres", proposing that the earth revolves around the sun, making Poland famous in the whole of Europe.

Polish Republic was a constitutional monarchy. "Szlachta", the landed gentry or nobility, acquired extensive privileges, and the Kingdom was often described as "Nobles' Republic".

Mikolaj Kopernik (in Latin : Nicolaus Copernicus)

The Kingdom of Poland in the 17th century
A large part of Eastern Europe belonged to Poland

The Rymaszewski noble families

The Rymaszewski families lived in the north-east of the Polish Commonwealth or Polish Republic (which was a constitutional monarchy) since the 16th century.This area was an administrative region named after the former Grand Duchy of Litva. The Polish inhabitants of the Grand Duchy were mostly the landowners throughout this area and had traditional Polish influence over Duchy. The landed gentry, called nobility or "Szlachta" had extensive privileges.

In some regions of the Duchy Poles were in the majority, especially around Wilno and Grodno. Other inhabitants belonged to several ethnic and religious groups. The Baltic peoples speaking Latvian and Lithuanian lived in the northern regions. Large proportion of population were Ruthenian tribes (later Belorussians, then Belarus) living in the east and working on land. Jews, who in the 13th century took refuge in Poland from persecution in Western Europe, were well represented especially in townships where they were engaged in commerce and trade. There were also Gipsies and Muslim Tatars, descendants of former Tatar incursions from the East.

North-eastern provinces of the Commonwealth of Poland in the 17th century
showing in a circle the native areas of the Rymaszewski clan.

More details at   ANCESTORS - Part 1 (Chapter 12)

Polish winged hussar

17th - 18th CENTURY


With the extinction of the Jagiellonian dynasty in 1572, Poland entered a two century long period of the political, economic, and military deterioration. Successive and generally disastrous wars with Sweden, Russia, the Ukrainian Cossacks, German Brandenburg, and the Ottoman Turks led to the loss of important Polish territories and the devastation of much of Poland. This period became known as the "DELUGE".

During the reign of king Jan III Sobieski, who was an excellent military commander, Polish forces had many victories over the Turks. In 1683 Polish army under king's command soundly defeated, in the battle for the relief of Vienna, a vast Turkish force - an army of Islam, thus halting a serious threat to Christendom in central Europe. But this victory could not halt Poland's decline.

Picture : King Jan III Sobieski after the battle over the Turks near Vienna.

• • • • • •

Early in the 18th century the Russian Empire opened a systematic offensive against declining Poland, supplementing military force with bribery and intrigue.

The weakening of the Polish Commonwealth was to a certain extent due to the free veto (liberum veto) in which any noble, a member of "szlachta" had it within his power to prevent the passage of legislation or to dissolve the proceedings of the Polish parliament. Poland had created a unique political republic headed by elected kings who were directly responsible to the Parliament of Nobles.

This system made Poland almost ungovernable. The central powers were unable to control the independence of the landowners (szlachta) and foreign neighbors found it easy to intervene in the struggles between the king and the nobility. By the time the system of liberum veto had been amended, it was too late for Poland and history ran its foreordained destiny.

Historical background of this period has been portrayed in the following

  • In the 17th century from 1605 Poland became involved in a series of wars, and was invaded by Swedes from the North, Turks from the South and Muscovites (Russians) from the East in such numbers that the country was almost submerged by enemy forces.
  • This period became known as the "Deluge". The devastation and loss of life were tremendous and Poland was only saved by a number of outstanding military commanders who achieved some great victories. Black Madonna
  • One historic episode during the "Deluge" was the defence of monastery on Jasna Góra (Bright Mountain) in Czestochowa, Poland's most sacred shrine containing the painting of the Virgin Mary (the "Black Madonna"), by a small force led by the Prior and his monks against a besieging army of 9,000 Swedes.
  • This defence actually changed the course of the war.

The action of the film takes place during the period of the Polish - Swedish war in the 17th century. The plot is woven around the stormy love of the main character in the film Andrzej (Andrew) Kmicic, for a young gentlewoman named Oleska (pet name for Aleksandra). The film was shot in authentic, ancient Polish castles.

Watch clip of the film : "The Deluge " = "Potop"
Scene of the Siege (Oblezenie)



  • In the first half of the 17th century a particular danger came from within, as the Cossacks (a Turkish word meaning "freebooter") in the South-East of Polish Commonwealth (Ukraine), a people of mixed origin but mainly Ruthenian and Pole, constantly changed sides, thus breaking their oath of allegiance to the Polish King.
  • In 1648 the Cossack Hetman, Chmielnicki, led a great uprising which was put down. Chmielnicki now used the Ukraine as a pawn between the powers of Poland, Muscovy (Russia) and Turkey which resulted in further wars.
  • In 1658, at Hadziacz, an agreement between the Polish King and the new Cossack Hetman, Wyhowski, was made to enable Ruthenia to join the Polish Commonwealth on equal terms with Poland and Litva (Lithuania). But a further Cossack rebellion in 1659, instigated by Russia (herself attempting to annex the Ukraine), and Polish involvement in war with Sweden, meant that the agreement bore no fruit.
  • And in 1667 by the treaty of Andruszowo, the Ukraine was divided evenly along the Dnieper river between the Polish Commonwealth and Muscovy (Russia).
  • For the Polish Commonwealth this was a disaster since it weakened an important frontier area and left a discontented people open to manipulation by Poland's enemies

The film shows most picturesque and controversial period in the history of Cossack people who desperately wished to obtain the best position in the framework of the Kingdom of Poland and later outside of it. Dramatic fight of Ukrainian Cossacks, full of human tragedies, became undivided part of Polish and Ukrainian history.

Watch clip of the film :
"With Fire and Sword" = "Ogniem i Mieczem"


Continuing the historical background ....

  • In 1672 the Turks invaded the Polish Commonwealth's eastern frontier.
  • Our ancestor, Jakób Rymaszewski, an "armoured companion" was killed in the battle at Kamieniec Podolski in 1672.
  • The Turks imposed a treaty on the Poles by which Turkey occupied Podolia and the southern part of the Kiev region.
  • In 1673, Polish Hetman Jan Sobieski scored a splendid victory, virtually annihilating the Turkish forces at Chocim, which enabled his election to the throne of Poland as king Jan III Sobieski. A great military leader, he had been given the nickname by the Turks of "the Fearful Lion of the North".
  • The Turks, unable to break into Europe through Poland, invaded Hungary and Austria in 1683 and swept all before them. 130,000 Turks besieged Vienna and threatened to overpower Europe. King Sobieski, at the request of the Pope, marched on Vienna, sent the Polish "Hussaria" (Knights with wings - Rymaszewskis included) into their last great charge and took the Turks unawares. It was a turning point in history.

The film is a landmark epic, based on the historical trilogy by Noble Prize winner, Henryk Sienkiewicz. Set up in the year 1668 at the time of the Turkish invasion of Poland's eastern frontier.

Watch clip of the film : Colonel Wolodyjowski = Pan Wolodyjowski
Scene of the Siege of Kamieniec Podolski
(Oblezenie Kamienca Podolskiego)

End of 18th CENTURY
1772 - 1793 - 1795

By the end of 18th century, the three combined, successive efforts took place by the neighbouring empires: Prussia, Austria and Russia to weaken Poland by dividing its territories amongst themselves. In 1772 large parts of the country were divided among Frederick II of Prussia, Catherine II of Russia, and Maria Theresa of Austria.

The first partition brought about some reforms in Poland. The Polish Parliament (Seym) passed a constitution called the Constitution of the Third of May. It was the first most democratic document written in Europe and second in the world after the USA Constitution, that outlined the responsibilities of Government.

When it had become apparent that the remaining portion of independent Poland was showing signs of regeneration, Russia and Prussia invaded the country and took more land in 1793.

Only the central section remained independent, and the three powers took that two years later in 1795. Poland became "officially" non-existent for the next 123 years. Russia received much larger share of the central and eastern provinces of Poland, occupying in the second and third partitions the native lands of the Rymaszewski clan.


Several armed attempts to regain independence were made by Poles, but all the uprisings (1794, 1815, 1831, 1846, 1848, 1863 and 1905) against Russia and Prussia were bloodily suppressed.

Many Poles involved in these various uprisings were either killed or driven into exile. But they kept the national spirit alive. Many people emigrated to France and North America.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko was the famous Polish young general who fought for the American independence. After his return home to Poland he led the first insurrection for Polish independence in 1794, but it was not strong enough to defeat the Russians.

A Polish geologist,
Strzelecki, surveyor and explorer in Australia at that time, named the highest peak in the Snowy Mountains after Kosciuszko.

When Napoleon, with Polish troops serving in his armies, conquered Central Europe, he restored for a short period Poland as a "Duchy of Warsaw" dependent on himself, which existed from 1806 to 1815.


Map Eastern Europe in 1815 : Poland disappeared from the map and remained under the yoke of foreign masters for 123 years, from 1795 to 1918 (till the end of World War One).

After Napoleon's defeat in Russia (retreat from Moscow in 1812) the victorious Russia took control over most of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815 the Tzar created there a new "Kingdom of Poland" but dependent on Russia (shaded area on the map) with himself as an Emperor and also the "King of Poland". However, after Polish armed insurrection for independence in 1831, the Poles were deprived of all civil liberties. The city of Kraków (Cracow) (see map) was made a Free City in 1815 but it was eventually taken by Austria in 1846.

The former eastern parts of Poland, where Rymaszewski ancestors lived, were already incorporated into the Russian Empire.

They experienced some period of freedom after Napoleons troops which included Polish legions, marched on to Moscow.

My ancestors and family lived there until Poland regained its independence after WW1 in 1918. Some Rymaszewskis emigrated to the United States before WW1.

During the 19th century the role of the Polish inhabitants in the former eastern Poland under the Russian rule decreased significantly. Many of them, including Rymaszewskis, were expropriated due to the policy of the Tzars, sending dissidents to Siberia.

In 1870s Russia attempted to eradicate Polish culture, making Russian the official language of the Russian partition. Prussia did the same in their portion of Poland, attempting to germanize Poles. My parents learned Polish history, etc. in secret schools. The Catholic Church was also persecuted. The Byzantine Catholic rite was abolished in 1839 and the Belarus populace was forced to convert to Russian Orthodox. Only under the Austrian partition Poles were allowed to retain some autonomy.

In the 1890's Poland experienced mass emigration due to persecutions and poverty. Prior to First World War approximately 4 million out of 22 million Poles from all regions emigrated - mostly to the United States.

THE FIRST WORLD WAR : 1914 - 1918

By 1914 two strong alliance systems were in place in Europe. The Entente Powers of Britain, France and Tsarist Russia faced the Central Powers of Germany and Austria.

The war was triggered off by the assassination of the heir to the throne of the Austrian Empire. The Austrian government blamed Serbia and declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914.

At this point the various alliance agreements kicked in. Germany came into the war in support of Austria, and Tsarist Russia came to the assistance of Serbia. Within a week, Britain and France were also at war with the Central Powers. The war had been long expected and peoples were ready for it.

Conscripted into the armies of the three Empires that partitioned Poland, that is Russia and the Central Powers, Poles had to fight in opposing armies in World War One.

After the downfall of the Russian Empire, in March 1917, the provisional government of Russia (not Bolshevik) recognized Poland's right to self-determination. However Russia, in turmoil with the Bolshevik revolution and the civil war, withdrew from the war in December 1917.

A provisional Polish government was subsequently formed in Paris. In 1917 the Germans, then in complete control of the country, created a regency council as the supreme government authority of the so-called Polish Kingdom.

After four years of war, people were fed up with the loss of life and the hardships. There were mutinies by troops of the Central Powers and left-wing revolutionary activity exported from Bolshevik Russia, demanding an immediate end to the war.

National groups (see map) saw their opportunity for independence and refused to play their part in the war effort of the Central Powers. Eventually, the Central Powers disintegrated from June to October 1918.

On the collapse of the Central Powers in the autumn of 1918, the Poles moved swiftly towards statehood. The Republic of Poland was proclaimed in November 1918, and an independent government was installed in January 1919.

War fronts in Europe during World War One

National groups within the Europe under control of the Central Powers of Germany and Austria are shown in black. Mutinies and revolts are shown as square shading.


(Pinsk can be found at the centre of Polesie province in the east).



Polish flag
Polish coat of arms
Polish national
anthem (band only)

The First World War brought collapse and disintegration to all three Empires that had once divided Poland.


After 123 years of struggle and sacrifice an independent Poland was restored in 1918.


At the same time, new Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (formerly part of the Polish Commonwealth) came into existence as independent states.


The first line of a verse from the marching song of the Polish Legions, who served with Napoleon's army and marched from Italy to Poland, the song that became the national anthem of the Polish nation in 1918, is:

"Poland has not yet perished as long as we live"

(Jeszcze Polska nie zginela, póki my zyjemy)


The picture above is from my student's pocket diary. It shows what was hanging on the front wall in every classroom in pre war Poland. First of all a White Eagle - the Polish coat of arms. Then the portrait of the President of Poland - Ignacy Moscicki (in the middle on the picture above) and the portrait of the Marshal - Józef Pilsudski (on the left above). After his death in 1935, the third portrait was hung of his successor Marshal Rydz-Smigly (on the right above). There was also a small Cross on the wall.

The handwriting above the picture was made in the diary by myself, age 15, when the war started in 1939 and I was being deported to Siberia by the Russians. It says "Long live Poland !" (Niech zyje Polska ! )

The words underneath the coat of arms is a quotation from Marshal Józef Pilsudski's speech made after Poland won her independence in 1918 and consolidated its borders after the war with Bolsheviks in 1920. The quotation also hung on the classroom wall. It says according to my translation : The times are coming whose trait will be the labour race, as arms race was before, as blood race was before ...



Full Polish National Anthem with English Subtitles

1918 - 1939


Above is the 1939 map of Poland where I was born on 25 October 1923. The only Poland I ever knew and loved, where I was educated and brought up in patriotism and Christian tradition.

And on the map alongside, the yellow area shows where the Rymaszewski families lived on large part of our traditional land that was included in free and independent Poland.

During the 16 years of my young life there, which happened to be between the First and Second World Wars, it was free and democratic country - the Polish Republic (Rzeczpospolita Polska). We lived happily in our own house in Pinsk where I went to a Grammar College (gimnazjum and liceum).

And it is Poland from where, during the Russian Communist occupation and reign of terror, I was suddenly and forcibly removed from on 13 April 1940 to face Siberian slavery and famine at the age of 16



As the Second World War began, Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.

Poland, established after the First World War as a sovereign state in 1918, was partitioned for a fourth time in 1939 by Germany (former Prussia) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics former Russia)

After dividing Poland, both totalitarian countries began to persecute her people.

1939 - 1941
Poland under Soviet and German occupation

The map shows how Poland was divided in 1939 under the German-Soviet agreement signed by Hitler and Stalin.

The Germans incorporated Pomerania, Posnania and Silesia into the German Reich whilst the rest was designated as the General-Gouvernement, a colony ruled from Cracow by Hitler's friend, Hans Frank.

The Soviets took and absorbed into the USSR the eastern half. They divided this occupation into Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine, and a small area was allocated to Lithuania (together with Wilno, now Vilnius) as a temporary deceit before the whole of Lithuania was also soon occupied by the Soviet Union.

The Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Poles, especially Polish Jews. The Communists also murdered a comparable number of Poles or sent them to slave camps and gulags where 50 percent of them died.


1939 - Outbreak of war



It lasted 44 years : 1945 - 1989

After this horrible period was over and World War Two had ended in 1945, and Germany, one of the two occupants of Poland, was defeated, new boundaries were established for Central Europe by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at Yalta.

Poland lost a third of its pre-war area, which was taken over by the Soviets. The eastern Poland was incorporated into the Soviet Union. It was the area where all the Rymaszewski families lived.

As a "compensation", the Allied powers handed over to Poland a part of defeated Germany up to the Oder and Neisse rivers. These lands belonged historically to very early Poland during the reign of Piasts dynasty (see map at the beginning), so they were named the "Regained Territories".

The Regained Territories were settled by Polish refugees who either escaped from the eastern Poland to avoid Soviet rule or were later expelled. Also many Polish repatriates from Siberia in the USSR itself were brought here.

Polish territory suffered a net loss of about 76,000 sq. km, as the land ceded to the USSR in the east was nearly double that acquired from Germany in the west.

Because of those population movements, the national minorities in present day Poland amount to about 5 percent of population. This is a situation very different from that throughout most of the Polish history when the country was multicultural with a number of diverse cultures.

The red area shows the spread of Communist Russia's imperialism in Europe. Which also includes the vertically hatched areas totally annexed as part of the by Soviet Union.

A Soviet - controlled communist government ruled Poland from 1945 to 1989.

1980 - 1989

August 1980

Workers at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk went on strike led by an electrician Lech Walesa. Inter-factory Strike Committee was formed representing strikes spreading across Poland. Communist Party negotiators begun talks and an agreement was signed, giving workers the right to form free unions independent from previous communist government control.

A nationwide independent trade union, Solidarity, was established growing to 10 million members and becoming a political force. Poland's total population was 38 million. Assuming each member had a family of 3 - that's almost the whole Poland joined the Solidarity union.

December 1981

This situation presented danger to Soviet Union and Moscow-supported communist government in Poland. So the government declared martial law called "a state of war" : suspended Solidarity, stripping away all vestiges of newborn freedom and using force, imprisoned all its leaders. This resulted in violence and loss of life. USA and other Western countries responded to martial law by imposing economic sanctions against Polish regime and the Soviet Union.

Martial law was ended three years later. And Solidarity prisoners including Lech Walesa were released five years later, in 1986. However unrest in Poland continued and Solidarity existed underground.

Lech Walesa addressing striking workers in Gdansk

Early in 1989
The government's inability to forestall Poland's continuing and severe economic decline and industrial unrest forced negotiations between the Communist authorities and the outlawed Solidarity movement. Agreements were reached to legalize the Solidarity trade union again, which demanded, and was permitted, to join in a limited free general elections.

June 1989
The elections were overwhelmingly won by the representatives of Solidarity who obtained ALL SEATS BUT ONE - of 261 seats it was allowed to contest for with the communists. Thus Solidarity formed the first non-communist democratic government in Poland operating under the rule of law since the World War II.

In 1989 Poland was the first country from the Soviet Bloc in Central and Eastern Europe to break out of Communist rule. Thanks to Polish Solidarity Movement this bold move was soon followed by other enslaved by Russia nations throughout the region.

September 1989

3 months later, in September 1989, my 23 years old son Julian Rymaszewski, born outside Poland in London, went from Australia to see his Polish fatherland for the first time in his life. See Chapter 10.

In 1990
Lech Walesa was elected President of Poland

Cover of the contemporary Time magazine titled "Shaking Up Communism" shows Poland's Lech Walesa with Solidarity flag and factories on the left and red Soviet Union's shadow and their threatening soldiers and tanks on the right.

1989 - 1993

  • The Soviet Union, although so called the Union of People's Republics, was a State which in fact was against the people.
  • Its rulers in the Kremlin - all Communist Party members protected by the ruthless Secret Police (KGB) - controlled and owned everything, the whole country.
  • They were power drunk men who aimed at world domination. Soviet coat of arms shows hammer and sickle on the whole planet earth.

  • To achieve their aims they were prepared to murder, enslave and starve people into submission, while they themselves were living in luxury surrounded by servants.
  • George Orwell aptly portrayed this situation in his book "Animal Farm".

  • This evil empire, as a result of 75 years of inefficiency, corruption, decay, dilapidation of state owned bureaucratic infrastructures, economic chaos, ecological negligence and disasters, and sheer absurdity of the socialist tyrannical system, which ruled over people by deceit, lies, fear, terror and hunger, described in terminal years as "the colossus on clay legs", finally COLLAPSED AND CRUMBLED, with Berlin Wall tumbling down last.

    People freed from communist East Germany for first time in 40 years as the Berlin Wall is torn down 11 November 1989



The Republic of Poland is a parliamentary democracy which guarantees the observance of human rights, freedom and civil rights.

Poland's armed forces ensure safety and inviolability of its borders. The armed forces maintain neutrality in political matters and are under civilian and democratic control.

Poland now borders with seven countries:

  • Russia - a stretch of 210 km
  • Lithuania - 103 km
  • Belarus - 416 km
  • Ukraine - 529 km
  • Slovakia - 539 km
  • Czech Republic - 790 km
  • Germany - 467 km

One important thing:

  • In the west Poland borders with friendly nations that recognize our new common borders.
  • In the east Poland borders with now democratic and independent states.
  • There are good prospects, therefore, for 21st century Poland to live in peace and regain her historic height of prosperity and cultural excellence.

National symbol and colors.

322,577 sq km


pop. 1,700,000

zloty (zl)
4 zl ~ 1 US$

From year 2009 Poland, as a full member of the European Union, is having its currency gradually replaced by euros ( € )

1 € ~ 1 US$

Please watch video:
"Polish History in 10 minutes"


And below you must see this animated summary of Polish history :
The date at the bottom left hand side indicates which period of history the scene refers to.


Year 2000

  • Independent POLAND in the centre of Europe.
  • Independent LITHUANIA to the north of Poland.
  • Independent BELARUS (for the first time in history) to the east of Poland
  • Most Rymaszewskis  —  survivors of the Soviet perpetrated holocaust, ethnic cleansing, and post-second-world-war final uprooting from their native land and properties (called "repatriation") —   now live dispersed in present day Poland.


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