Polish Family First Displaced persons to Settle in Denison, TX



Polish Family First Displaced Persons to Settle in Denison

“For the first time in 11 years we have a home.”

After more than a decade of concentration camps, prisons and forced labor, Dr. and Mrs. George Rynecki and their 13 year old son, Alexander, have found a home in Denison.  They are the first displaced family to arrive here and were sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Karchmer, 1204 West Bullock.  Mrs. Karchmer and Mrs. Rynecki are cousins.

It took three years of waiting in Italy, even after the family had been liberated, to complete the necessary arrangements through the State Department before they could finally board the boat for America.

But the waiting was worth it, Dr. Rynecki says.  He is the interpreter for the family.  Mrs. Rynecki and Alexander do not yet speak English, but they understand it.  Alexander speaks three languages, Polish, German and Italian, and his father is sure he will learn English quickly for he has already enrolled in Central Ward School.[1]

All three members of the family were born in Warsaw.  Dr. Rynecki attended the University of Warsaw and received a degree as doctor of economy.  When war broke out he was a prosperous importer.

The years of horror that the family endured began with the bombing of Warsaw.  Mrs. Rynecki and Alexander lived for two months in a cellar before the Germans entered the city and sent them to Munich where Mrs. Rynecki was forced to do farm work.  Dr. Rynecki had secured forged passports for himself, his wife, and child and was captured with them on his person.  The Germans tortured him in an effort to force him to tell the persons who had secured the papers for him.  He owed his life to the fact that the Nazis hoped to secure information from him.  On May 10, 1945 he was on his way to the dreaded Dachau Concentration Camp when he was liberated by the American Army.

Because of his education, Dr. Rynecki was placed in control of all displaced persons at Bad Aibling, Germany by the Army Occupation.  Each day he would scan the list of displaced persons in other camps, not daring to hope he would find the name of his wife.

The day the family was reunited after six years was a memorable one, the doctor recalls.  He drove in an army staff car to the camp where Mrs. Rynecki and Alexander were staying.  She became hysterical when she saw her husband as she had given him up for dead.  She supposed that he had been shot asked [sic] her father[2] and her brothers[3].

From Germany the family went to Italy and from there began the long negotiations to join their only remaining relatives here.  It took three years but now that they are established in Denison they feel that it was worth the wait.

Dr. Rynecki has traveled in every country in Europe and he says there is no place like the United States.  No other place in the world are there such happy and friendly people.

After years of wandering and trouble, the Rynecki family has found a home.

[1] My grandfather’s belief in my father was well placed.  Surprisingly, given his relatively late start in learning the language, my father’s English is flawless.  There’s really no trace of any accent.  It never occurs to most people that English might not even be his native language.

[2] My grandmother’s father died before the war.  Perhaps the reporter misunderstood and mixed up her father with her father-in-law?

[3] Either a typo or the reporter misunderstood.  My grandmother only had one brother.