We returned to Romany and met with the priest. The priest opened the church for us to go inside and take pictures.
It is surprisingly beautiful inside considering the outside appearance.
It was pointed out that the interior is undergoing some renovations and not everything was complete. He pointed out the baptismal font which was used at the time our grandfather was baptized. He then gave us the name of a Samelko living in Romany.
Tracking that down, we visited with a woman, Iwona, who is married to Marek Samelko. Using the family tree, names were tied together. She served us coffee and pastry during the visit and gave us some more names. A funny thing that happened, when Zenon first approached the woman, she thought we were the constables coming after them as they were having trouble with a neighbor. We were also told we can and are welcomed back later in the day when her husband is home from work.
Armed with this new information, we went to another village and met with Zofia Piwko, who is the daughter of Aleksander Samelko. He was a half brother to Jan and was one of those killed by the gestapo. We found out another part of the gruesome story as both men were beaten, dragged into the forest, blindfolded and shot. The family, under the cover of darkness, found the bodies and buried them in the parish cemetery. We also were told of another Samelko who died trying to escape the Nazi concentration camp at Majdanek. He was a brother named Wladyslaw. Zofia is living on the family farm although it is not farmed at this time. Her husband, Wladyslaw, has passed on. Also present was a granddaughter, Urszula, who teaches English in the Polish school system.
No need to guess, Zofia insisted we eat with them and as Urszula told some family history, dinner was being prepared. We were told that there was another half brother to Jan and his name was Ludwik. He and his wife are buried in Romany. The meal served was again authentic Polish fare and delicious. She served a vegetable soup like nothing we ever had. It consisted of a milk and butter broth with carrots, potatoes, string beans and cauliflaur. Jokingly, we asked for the recipe, but were not responded to. Also served were golompkies and home made kielbasy. What a meal!!. Urzsula then got out the photo album told us of the hard times during and after the war. Zofia told us of her sister, Miroslawa, and of her daughter, Hanna, who they will contact and arrange for us to meet with them.
Returned to Romany and met with Marek Samelko. He exchanged information regarding the Samelko’s in Romany. He showed us where the original Samelko homestead was; it is actually right next to where his house is located.
We then headed back to the cemetery to view more gravesites which were not seen before. Ludwik Samelko and his wife, Marianna, Jan Samelko with his mother Aleksandra, Antoni Samelko and his wife Heronima. They are the parents of Marek. After posing for pictures, we headed back to Kiermusy.
According to Marek, the original residence stood from about the middle of this house to the first car that only has the fender in view. He also pointed out that the Samelkos were well off in Romany as they had a farm with lots of cows and horses.
After the war, when people started to return to town, they virtually stole the land and claimed it for themselves. There were no records of boundaries and the such to dispute anything.