Krystyna Szopis

Born: 6th February 1931

Lwow, Poland

Date of interview: 16th May 2006

Map showing where Krystyna Szopis came from

What was that like?

I've been there for four days. I cried most of the time ... the town is still beautiful. It's the most beautiful town architecture wise and so on. Very neglected because it was under Russia till Ukraine became independent country ... I did go to my flat but unfortunately the flat was divided into two and on one side they allowed us in the other side didn't. I went to my school. They've been very kind, very nice to me but the Head wouldn't come out to see me only the deputy head. Well the school it, I didn't remember a lot of it but I did remember where there was the Head's office and I thought I know where my classroom was, but you know I wouldn't be sure. I did go to the cathedral where I was confirmed just before Russians took us. I was simply, I went to the First Holy Communion in the morning and I was confirmed in the afternoon because everybody know there is going to be a next transport of people were going to Siberia for a jolly ride.

What else, well I did go to the huge cemetery where because of, you know, in 1920 there was a war and Poles, well Poles from Lwow, the Poles were fighting Ukranians unfortunately and masses of them were just young boys, young girls from schools and there was a huge cemetery where my father was fighting. So I did go there. It was still in a very, very sad state but I hear, and I hope to go this year, I hear that everything is forgiven and forgotten and so on and the cemetery has been beautifully rebuilt.

When it comes to churches of Lwow, well my parish church unfortunately is not a Roman Catholic church anymore. Where I went for First Holy Communion but very fortunately it was being redecorated or something. Inside, you couldn't get inside. That would have been a very, very deep emotional trauma for me. Oh I did go to the theatre in Lwow. It's a huge opera house. That was very emotional simply because I did remember being there with my parents.