Fred Dran’s Journal of his 1933 trip with his father, Michael Dran, to the Dran ancestral home in Eastern Europe, Swiatkowa Wielka. They traveled third class aboard the S.S. Dresden of the North German Lloyd Line. Sailing date was July 27, 1933. They landed in Germany and continued by train and then horse cart to their destination, Swiatkowa Wielka. At this time in history the village was located in southern Poland. (Click for World Happenings) My grandfather and father’s itinerary is as follows: Hazleton PA to New York City, to a steamer crossing the Atlantic

(August 2)to Galway Bay and Bay of Cherbourg where some passengers disembarked (August 4 )on to Bremerhaven (August 7) by train to Tarnow and Yaslo, by horse cart to Swiatkowa Wielka (August 8) excursions to Lvov/Lviv (September 19) and the health spa at Kraynecia ( September 27) return trip to America ( September 29)

Notes and Messages given to the Drans by the villagers to be delivered to their relatives in America.

My comments in []

[The first seven pages of the notebook had been torn away leaving fragments. It appears, from the parts of sentences that were readable, that comments were made concerning the trip to New York City, photographing the city, deck games on the ship, and a storm while at sea.]

August 2, 1933 – Halfway across the Atlantic Ocean

I awoke and heard the ships whistle blowing at intervals. Went on deck before breakfast and found the sea very rough with waves splashing on the deck. It was very foggy, also a strong southern wind blowing about 35 mph. We stayed off deck all day and spent the day playing cards and also playing the Hob[?] game. At night we attended a movie in the dining hall. It was an American talking picture with German translation. After the movie I had a drink of German beer and then went to my cabin and retired. While lying in my bed I could hear the ship’s whistle blow at intervals until finally I fell asleep. Sweet dreams!

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August 3, 1933

The sky was cloudy all day. Sea was slightly rough with a cold wind blowing. People spent some time on deck this morning about 11 o’clock. We saw what was supposed to be a whale. A stream of water shot into the air at intervals about a thousand feet from our ship. All I saw was a fountain of water. Never saw the back of the whale. In the evening at 4 0’clock the deck steward took us to the control cabin showing the various instruments used in guiding the ship, such as the compasses, radio signal instrument that regulated all the clocks on the ship. At 8 o’clock in the evening we had a masquerade dance. It was very colorful. It was held for the Irish who were to leave the following day at 1 o’clock. I have photos of the dance.

August 4, 1933

It was a beautiful morning. The sky was clear and the sun was hot. After breakfast, about 9 o’clock, we sighted land. It was Ireland. We were entering Galway Bay. It took until 12:30, when our ship dropped anchor about 2 miles from shore. A ferry boat, or tender as they called it, pulled up to the ship and took passengers and baggage to shore. So, about 25 of our fellow passengers left us, some which I had made friends with and sure was sorry to see them leave. About 2 o’clock our ship turned around and headed for the outlet of the bay. On the way I noticed along the shore of the bay were little villages and farm land in the distant hills, also mountains, but most of the coastline along Galway Bay was rocky and all along the Irish coast as well. In some places a mountain would be cut off by the sea, a straight wall facing the sea. Before entering Galway, the sea was very calm. As we were going south along the Irish coast occasionally we would see a fishing boat. The boat left Galway at 1:45 P.M. The Irish coast is very rocky. Here and there a rocky island could be seen, and in the evening a light house here and there warning of danger zones. I’ve been watching the sea till 10 o’clock, slight head winds, ship gaining speed going with the current towards a beautiful moon. What moonlight seen on the water! Well, we are heading for Cherbourg France. That’s all for today.

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August 5, 1933 – Saturday

A beautiful morning, a little wind blowing. After breakfast I played a few games of shuffle board on deck, later watched the sea, the passing steamers, fishing and sail boats. About noon we sighted the English coast. At one point there extended out what they called Bishops Rock. After passing it we went into open sea, no land until 10:30 P.M. In the evening we came into the Bay of Cherbourg. A pilot ship came out to meet us and our ship stopped at the entrance to the bay. A tender pulled up to our ship and tool the passengers from our ship to the port. At about 1:00 A.M. our ship continued her course toward Bremen. While we were in the Bay of Cherbourg all you could see were the city lights in the distance, about two miles. There were more friends gone which I probably will never see again. We are now going through the English Channel. Tomorrow some time we will come to the spot where the channel is narrow, some 26 miles. It was a beautiful day. Good night!

August 6, 1933 – Sunday

Sunday was a a beautiful day. Played a few games of shuffleboard on deck. In the morning around 10 o’clock, we sighted an Italian navy sail ship. It was the first sail ship I’ve seen during the day. I’ve taken a few snap photos with my camera on the deck of the ship. I have also seen a few passing vessels around 10:00 A.M. We headed into the North Sea. It was very quiet. It was so quiet that it looked as though it were frozen very smooth. At 9:30 I attended the concert given by the ship’s orchestra. They played German folk songs. It was an enjoyable evening. Before going to bed we packed our suitcases. And to rest.

August 7, 1933

Arose early, dressed and went on deck. It was a nice morning. About 6 o’clock, the pilot ship pulled up to our ship. The pilot came on board. The ship was heading to the bay. Soon we saw the shore on both sides. About 11:00 we landed at the dock at Bremerhaven. Close by was the ship Columbus and the Bremen. The latter was sure a beautiful ship. After landing, our baggage was inspected in the station. We then went by train to Bremen. Such train cars! Not like the American rail cars – no comfort and tiresome riding, hard seats. Eight passengers in a compartment. American boxcars are much better. We arrived in Bremen at 11:45 A.M. and received railroad tickets at German Lloyd Agency a little way from the station, also a lunch box. Leaving Bremen at 3:20 P.M. on to Berlin, I rode standing up for 5 hours.

I was disgusted riding such uncomfortable trains. Arrived in Berlin at 9:30, Leheter station. We were then transferred to Freidstrassen Station by elevator car. We rested in the waiting room, had a few beers also sent some cards to friends. We walked out into the street in front of the station for curiosity’s sake. We left Berlin at 11:20 P.M.

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August 8, 1933 – Tuesday

Slept in the couch upright. It was very tiresome. The scenery was beautiful going through Germany. Land was level, all farm land on both sides of the train, mostly wheat fields in harvest dress. The peasant women and children were out in the fields cutting and bringing in the harvest, some packing it up into stacks. I saw mostly grain fields. Germany is sure noted for grain. Passing town after town we came to the boundary line of Germany and Poland. Our baggage was inspected by Polish officers. They were kind of sarcastic. We changed trains in Tarnow. We arrived at Tarnow at 1:00 P.M., rested in the station till 4:30 P.M., bought a ticket to Yaslo. After boarding the train to Yaslo, I discovered my traveler’s checks were missing, also father’s checks were missing. We must have been pick pocketed while pushing through the narrow passages in the coaches, or box cars is what I call them, going from Tarnow to Yaslo. It was getting mountainous. One could see homes here and there in the hills. Saw children in the fields, also women, all bare footed, working. Very unusual scenes and very interesting roofs of homes, covered with straw. Although they looked to be poor people, ragged and dirty. They blended into the rest of the beautiful valleys and mountains. You could see beautiful young girls, some holding a baby in her arms. Sure get married early, I judge. We arrived at Yaslo in the evening at 7:30 P.M. We went to the waiting room and met Uncle Metro, who had waited two days for us. I went to the police station to notify them about our checks. They said they would gladly attend to our case and notify the bank of Tarnow. From the station Uncle took us to spend the night with a friend of his a little way from Yaslo, which we did. Father slept on the floor on straw. I and Uncle slept on benches.

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August 9, 1933

We awoke at 4:30 A.M. Uncle had his horse and cart there for the three days waiting for us, so we hopped into the cart and away to his place, passing many villages and little towns. We stopped off in a little town for lunch and I sent a telegram to the American Express Company in Warsaw about the loss of my checks.

The closer we were going towards Swiatkowa, the more beautiful the scenery, winding roads through the mountains, going higher and higher, beautiful pastures, spruce forests with tall trees as I have never seen before. Higher and higher we were going, and more you could see of the beautiful country. Mountain peaks were cultivated, planted mostly with golden grain blending into the green forests here and there. Some of the scenes reminded me of a blanket made of strips of remnants, golden, green and yellow, blending into a blue sky. Something I shall never forget. People along the way in the fields singing, although poor but happy.

Arrived in Swiatkowa about 1 o’clock. Met the Uncle’s family and many other people, all knowing father. What strange living here. It is a happy life though they do not see much money. In the afternoon Metro and I went for a walk through the village and back and talked till late, then to bed.

August 10, 1933

Awoke and found a beautiful morning. Had breakfast. Peter and I both went down to the little river called Visloka and went in for a swim and basked in the sun for a few hours. Later met a few people who knew father, conversed with them on the way to the village. I admired everything. The boys are very sociable. They would surround me and ask questions about the USA. After supper Peter got a loan of a violin for me and I played until it was time to go to bed. There were many boys in the house spending the evening.

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August 11, 1933

The day was beautiful. Father, Peter and I went through the village to see some people. We stepped into Kawdraw’s place. He was glad to see father, gave us a treat, talked a long time and then we came back home and had dinner. We went out to the fields with Nick to gather the sheaves, loading the wagon and homeward to supper.

August 11 to 24, 1933

Worked out in the fields, also walked through Uncle’s forest and what a forest. Large trees some two feet in diameter, mostly spruce and hemlock, all straight as a flag pole.

Sunday, August 13, father and I went to Swiatkika to church and Saturday, August 19, to the church in Swiatkowa and the following day to the Orthodox Church. All but a few people go to the Orthodox Church. The Ukrainian churches are always empty due to some dispute some 6 or 7 years ago.

Sunday, August 20, cousin Peter left for school at Parmishil to resume his studies. He sure is a bright chap. Some friends I’ve met are: Peter Smericanich, and instructor, father Stupock, a priest at the Ukrainian church. He officiates at three churches, Swiatkiewka, Swiatkowa and Swirzowa.

During the later part of August it rained nearly every day also the first two weeks of September. On the 19th of September cousin Nick and I spent two days in Lvov, which is a 9 hours ride from Yaslo. We visited the Ukrainian National Museum, also

Tua Mapad Webrencko[? Spelling] museum, also a Polish museum in the center of the city. All were very interesting. On the 20th of September, we went to church, a Ukrainian church on Pycka Street. Opposite the church are two Ukrainian newspapers [Cyrillic spelling] and [Cyrillic spelling]. While visiting the Ukrainian National Museum I’ve taken a few snapshots of the beautiful structure, also the new annex. Later we visited the Cathedral of St. George and took a few more pictures. It also is a beautiful structure. It is said to be over 400 years old. In the evening on the 20th we went to the theatre, also a beautiful structure of Greek architecture. The show was very good, portrayed a story of the World War on the Rumanian front.

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We lodged in the Ukrainian [Cyrillic spelling] one night during our stay in Lvov. The city of Lvov reminds me of an American city with street cars, buses, automobiles, streets paved, etc. In the center of the city from in front of the theatre, off for several blocks are planted beautiful flowers of all sorts, here and there a park bench in the shade of trees.

We left Lvov Friday the 21st at 11:55 P.M., arrived in Yaslo in the morning at 7:10 A.M. We walked home which is a distance of 7 kilometers, arriving home at 7 o’clock in the evening. It sure was a tiresome day.

On September 27th Uncle, father, Uncle’s wife and I made a trip to Kaynecia, some twelve miles from Swiatkowa. It took us from 6 to 7:30 in the evening to get there on a wagon. It sure was a tiresome trip. We spent one night there. The following day we bathed in the mineral water at one of the bathhouses also drank some of the water and took some home for other members of the family to taste. The city of Kaynicia [Krynica?] is a beautiful little city with beautiful little villas here and there, also on the mountainsides. The language spoken there is mostly Polish. I forgot to mention that the same language is spoken in Lvov. We arrived home on September 29. It was an interesting trip home to my uncle’s place going through valleys, over mountain villages, crossing streams and over such roads with large holes that would be very dangerous to travel at night. I shall never forget the Carpathian Mountains. They are the most beautiful I have ever seen. On the way home we had spent the night at Father Myehailo Fuk’s place. He sure was generous to us.

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On the following morning, September 28, we started for home (Uncle’s place). The day was beautiful. On the way in one little town we stopped off to attend a market for about two hours, then on we went arriving home about 6 o’clock. We were all tired and so was the horse, which pulled the wagon we rode in. I’ll say one thing, my rear end was very sore from that trip.

September 29, 1933 – Saturday

I’ve pressed al of our shirts and belongings to be prepared for our trip home to the USA. Sunday, we went to church, in the afternoon I took a few snapshots. On Tuesday, October 3 we left for the USA. We left Uncle’s home at 5 o’clock in the morning, traveling by wagon. Arrived in Yaslo at 9:30 A.M. Took the 12:20 train for Rzezcow, arrived in Rzezcow at 1:30 P.M. Left at 3:18 and arrived in Berlin at 7:10 A.M.

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[At this point a page was torn in half and seems to have contained a further listing of the trip schedule and their arrival onboard ship.]

There were two others in the same cabin Adolf Bender of Detroit and Anton Goetz of Milwakee [Milwaukee]. They were nice men and we got along well. Our ship left port October 5th at 12 noon headed up the river and into the North Sea, which was quite rough. The ship swayed from side to side and made me a little sick. Made me vomit, but I felt good afterwards. We arrived at South Hampton England the following day October 6m at 9 o’clock. There were many nice steamers in the harbor. We pulled out of South Hampton at 11:00 and arrived Cherbourg, France about 5 in the evening. The ship entered the gates of the harbor, stopped in the center, a ferry boat took on and discharged passengers, also baggage and mail. The ship pulled out from Cherbourg at 6:30 and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

On October 7 we were well out into the ocean, the sky was cloudy, with a brisk head wind blowing. Every day we had breakfast at 7:45, lunch at 12:15 and dinner at 6:45. The meals were wonderful, but the service was poor. We also got broth in the morning at 10 A.M. and coffee at 3 P.M. there were band concerts at 10 in the morning.

[Another page was torn from the journal]

October 9 was a nasty day. The sea was rough and the boat rocked from side to side, up and down. It lasted 24 hours. I was in bed all day. Father kept up nicely. He ate his meals regularly. At noon he said there were only a few (6) people in the dining room for dinner. All the rest were laid up in bed.

[A few pages were torn away, what was left indicated that they arrived in the USA]

took a taxi to the Courtland Street subway, then on to Jersey City. Got off at Grove St. to visit Milka Makoski. [This was the daughter of Fred’s stepmother. Julia]

Father slept there over night and I stayed at Zadrozney’s place in New York City.

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[At the end of the journal, several more pages were torn away. The remaining pages contained notes or messages to various people. They are as follows: I suspect that the spelling of surnames was a best guess on my father’s part. I HAVE CAPITALIZED THE SURNAMES TO MAKE THEM STAND OUT:]

Andrew KAPATULA, a nephew to Andrew and Metro, gives his best regards to all

Mr. Peter SMERICANICH and family give their best regards to ROMANCHAK and family. They feel grateful towards the ROMANCHAKS for what they have done for them.

Mary SOKIL and family. Best regards to Simon HOTCHES and his wife and family. She said John HOTCHE brother to Simon was married to her sister. He is deceased.

John FESH, brother to Wasil and family give their best regards to Wasil and family. Wasil FESH, Back Mountain, Penna.

Simon BINDAS and sister Biza, niece and nephew to Mrs. BAVALOCK will give a letter to give to Aunt BAVALOCK. They want a photograph of Aunt. Both are sending some mushrooms. Simon works at Andrew KODRAS’ place. Biza works for Father Demetro STUPACK pastor of the Ukrainian church. All is well.

Aunt or ….Miss Co….give best regards to …. of SHARWARKO and family, also his sister Julia NESTOR and family, also her two daughters near Salem, Mass.

Anastazia ……..niece to …….has 3 children……the eldest one has one child…..name is Puche… Anastazia is a daughter of Mrs. HOTCHES’ brother who died years ago, his wife died 7 years ago. Anastazia lives in the house now. She said she has 16 acres of land. She gives her best regards to all and has offered some mushrooms.

BAVALOCKS best regards to all. Oldest boy Lesko, Theodore, Nicholas, Nestor, girl. They have one cow and a swine. Things are very tight. Would like some financial help from Uncle’s wife if possible. Would appreciate it very much. Two brothers are in Russia, Emlyn and Simon. Emlyn is said to be dead. Simon not getting along well in Russia and is not well, weak heart or heart trouble.

To Metro KAPUTULA, best regards to all from sister Julia. Not as well at times. Children are well, thank the Lord, also husband. Be sure not to be cross with me for turning my religion to orthodox, but I feel different at heart. Please brother help me financially. I owe $30.00 dollars and 300 golds. Will appreciate financial help. Please share the mushrooms between your brother Andrew and yourself.

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World Happenings: 1932-1933: Hitler was in power, FDR was President, Unemployment reaches 13 million in the U.S.A., Scientists split the atom, Japanese invade Manchuria, Germany and Japan withdraw from the League of Nations, Chicago World’s Fair , Genocidal famine in Ukraine as a result of Stalin’s Soviet Government. Back to start of journal