The 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade
(1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa)
The Childhood Of
My Parents & Siblings
I was born February 1908 in/near Bialystok, Poland. We lived in Bialystok (around 1 hour from the Kresy region). Although the facts are not fully known, I was probably more Belarussian than Polish.
I was a son of Alexander Hostik (1882 - 1961) & Stefania Szafran (1883 - 1970) and grandson of Jan Hostik and Stefania. We were of a peasant background, but we were good people.
My siblings are:
- Regina Hostik (7 Nov 1927 - 2017, Bialystok, Poland)
- Irena Hostik (25 Jan 1925 - 29 Oct 1996, Bialystok, Poland)
- Alexandra Hostik (1923 - 06 Jan 1980, Bialystok, Poland)
- Stanislawa (1920 - 30 Sept 2007, Bialystok, Poland)
- Aleksander (Also called Lucjan and Lutek) Hostik ( 1910 - ?, Bialystok, Poland)
- Mikolaj (Kola) Hostik
- Stefania Hostik (5 Jul 1921 - 2001, Bialystok, Poland)
As you will notice, as I grew up my family grew as well! When I was 12, along came another surprise, my sister Stanislawa Hostik. By the middle of July 1921 (I was 13 years old now) yet another sister came along, this time it was Stefania Hostik. In 1924 when I was aged 16, my brother Alexander Hostik was born.
My parents loved children, nothing was better than the sounds of young children in the house and they would go on to have some more yet because in 1923 when I left school Alexandra Hostik was born, 2 years later in 1925 Irena Hostik also came into the world. Finally, when I was 27 years old, Regina Hostik was born. I think by this point my parents realised they had to stop as they were running out of room in the house for all these children!
With so many grand children, my grandfather Jan and his wife Stefania were kept very busy being grandparents to so many children.
I lived a simple life in the Kresy region with my siblings and parents. Being part of a large family I learnt to appreciate and respect those around me.
I particularly loved and respected my father, he would often tell me tales about fighting the Russians in WW1 and it was from this that my pride in my heritage and ancestry developed, after all, the very land we lived on was given to him by the Polish Government as a reward for defending his country during World War 1.
About The World I Grew Up in
When I was born, Bialystok had around 70,000 inhabitants and was part of the Kingdom Of Prussia. But when I was 11 years old in 1919 it was then part of the 2nd Republic of Poland, this would be about the time the Red Army took possession of the city.
In 1920, 800,000 Red Army troops, lead by Bolshevik leaders, were congregated around 300 miles away in Belarus, about to invade Poland. I heard this news and my awareness of what was going on around me grew.
What I knew about Bolshevism was that it was a program adopted by radicals to achieve the violent overthrow of capitalism that was founded under Lenin after the Russian revolution of 1917. The Bolsheviks wore red as a symbol for extreme leftism, and hence, everything they did was called a red action.
The Bolshevik state procurement of food operated through a state-run monopoly, preventing peasants from seeking better prices, and increasingly turned violent when peasants refused to cooperate.
The communists considered payment of incentives to peasants for delivering food to be anti-revolutionary and capitalist. Most Bolshevik leaders had no skills or experience in government administration, management, business, or anything else and were viewed as inept.
It was against this backdrop of political unrest and military might that my early opinions of Bolshevism were formed, for it was happening all around me.
Fathers Military Career
I left school when I was 15. I did okay at school, but wasn't anything exceptional except for the fact that I could speak Russian as well as Polish, but then, being brought up in the Belarus area this was not unusual.
My love of my country was great, my father had instilled this into me when I was just a child. I want nothing more than to fight Russians, us Polish people deserved to have our own country did we not?
Soon after leaving school, my desire to protect my country was strong, plus, if truth be told, I didn't really have a clear career path ahead of me. So I did what many boys of my age did, I joined the cadets.
I was so proud to be able to stand up for something and be someone.