Wednesday afternoon we had decided to go to Borislav, the town where Aharon Weiss’ story took place. We wanted to check out the houses where his family and their neighbor’s family Yulia used to live, talk to the current residents and make sure they would be home when we come back with Aharon on July 9th to film. About half way through our journey, we were passing by a village when we noticed an amazing old well. We stopped to film for a short while like we usually do when we see some extraordinary landscape or some very interesting town, and we started talking to the villagers. Well, Olia and Petro did; the best I can do is smile, nod my head and say dobre denye (good day).
The villagers started telling us about the history of their village. It was so fascinating that we ended up spending the whole afternoon with them and postponed our visit to Borislav.
Apparently, the village of Madenitchy was a mixed village with both Polish and Ukrainian habitants. It is still one of the rare villages with mixed Ukrainian and Polish population. One old man have us a very interesting and clear perspective on the history of his village through the various regimes that occupied the region. He also admitted to us that whenever he wants something from his son in law who is Polish, all he has to do is speak in Polish, the son in law gets so happy that he gives him whatever he wants.
The village survived both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union; and as one of the villagers said:
“Here is where we were hiding from the Nazis, and over there is where we were hiding from the KGB. Here is the place where the Jews were killed, and here is where the Ukrainan families were taken away to Siberia. You know, they all came and left, and we managed to survive! Hopefully we will also survive today’s Ukraine!”