Originally Posted by Hannia
There are two villages in the Stryj raion/district of the Lvivska (Lviv) oblast/region that could easily be confused by an English speaker: Dobrivlany and Dobryany. Dobrivlyany consists of 826 people and is one kilometer away, practically abutting Stryj, and the other is selo/village Dobryany (1,822 pop) appx 3 kilometers from Stryj.
I see Iwan left you w/good memories.
From late 18th century to 1919 the region where Iwan came from was part of Austro-Hungary. During the Interwar Period (1919-1938) it came under Reconstituted Poland's domain. Technically Poland had not existed as a geopolitical entity for the previous 125+ yrs. Post WW2 this region became a part of SSR Ukraine, under Soviet domain until 1982, when Ukraine became independent.
Iwan was very likely multilingual as many Ukrainians were. Besides Polish he probably also spoke German.
Thankyou Hannia. I had not noticed Dobrivlany on the map before, but Dobryany is definitely the right village as it is named on Iwan's Ausweis and several other documents, in English and at least once in Ukrainian or Russian. In the UK, many villages have become much larger over the years, and occasionally they have become part of nearby towns. Have Ukrainian villages tended to stay the same size throughout the 1900s? That seems strange to us as the total UK population has increased so much.
Iwan came to the UK from an Italian PoW camp - he showed me three photos from his time in the camp, one of a row of tents in snow, one of a hut made into a church, and one of a priest 'blessing the water at Christmas'. I have read that about 8.000 Ukrainian men came to the UK from the camp in Rimini in 1947, so I hope to be able to look for his name in a list of those men one day.
Where Ukrainian men married British women, their English became quite good, but Iwan never married and his English was very limited even though he was here for so long. It made talking to him quite difficult, so I am finding out more about him now than when we lived next door to him.
One more question - I have two linen envelopes with wax seals addressed to Iwan, sent from Dobryany I think: did people make these envelopes themselves when they needed them, and when did the practice die out? There is a faint franking mark on one of them, but I cannot make out any date.