“Faraway Soldier’s Trail” is a manuscript written originally in Polish entitled “Daleki Żołnierski Szlak” by Jan Domański, Master Corporal of the reserves in 3rd Karpatian Division of the Polish II Corps outside Poland’s borders.
Jan Domański was born on November 11, 1902, in Bogdanówka, a district of Zborow in the Tarnopol province. This area, after the last partition of Poland in 1795, was under the Austrian occupation. It was again part of Poland, when Poland became an independent nation, after the First World War in 1918. Jan Domański described this period of time in his first diary entitled: “Memoirs of the Domański family and Bogdanówka.” He describes the origins of his family in Bogdanówka (Tarnopol region in the Borderlands, known as Kresy), his childhood adventures and life during the First World War and the subsequent years up to the Second World War. The “Faraway Soldier’s Trail” is a continuation of his memoirs from the beginning of World War II in 1939 up to his arrival in Canada in 1948.
After World War II, the entire territory of the Borderlands (Kresy) was incorporated into the jurisdiction of the USSR, and many years later, the greater part, to the independent state of Ukraine in 1991.
Jan Domański did not live long enough to see Poland released from the shackles of communist captivity under the direction of the USSR, as well as the Polish Government’s apology to General Anders and his soldiers, one of whom he was. Jan Domański died in 1988 in the city of Hamilton, Canada.
Jan Domański’s diaries passed from his daughter Emilia Janiga to her son, after her death. Along with the memoirs, John (Jan) Janiga inherited photo albums, military uniform, medals and a large collection of articles from the time when Jan Domański was the editor of the local Polish journal “Dziedzictwo” (Heritage) in Hamilton.
John Janiga, after many years decided to transcribe and then translate his grandfather’s memoirs into English and publish them so that they would not fade and pass into obscurity, but would remain in his memory.
There are only a few books written by people who have undergone various tragedies in their lives and later could write about it themselves as they have seen it, went through it and survived. John Janiga, in transcribing and translating his grandfather’s memories, tried to preserve the original style and content in the smallest possible changes or corrections, including several poems.
John Janiga lives with his wife Ursula in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
John (Jan) Janiga
These are my memories from the start of World War II in 1939 up to my arrival in Canada in 1948. During that time I crossed dozens of foreign borders, let this remain for me and my family to keep that time alive for future generations..