Interview With An Immigrant

Man who was born in Warsaw lands in Chicopee, MA

How would you feel if you had to leave your home to move to a different part of the world permanently?

Albert Szyluk was only a young man when he was forced from his home in Warsaw, Poland by Russian soldiers who had invaded his town. He was forced to ride in freight trains and was brought to a concentration camp where he eventually escaped, joined the Polish Royal Airforce and met his future wife, Kathleen.

Interview Questions

How would you feel you had to suddenly leave your home and relocate to another country?

Q: How old was Albert when he was forced from his home in Warsaw, Poland?

A: Albert was sixteen.

Q: What happened to his family?

A: Upon arrival the family was separated, Albert's father was killed immediately and his mother and sister died in the camp. He and his brothers survived two years in the camp before they were able to escape.

Q: What happened after he escaped?

A: He joined the Polish Royal Air Force and from there served in both England and Scotland, He served as a plane mechanic.

Q: How did he meet his wife?

A: While in Scotland Albert met his wife at a dance and soon after they were married. The settled in Lanchishire County and welcomed two children. Next they moved to Canada, had a third child and finally immigrated to Chicopee, MA where he lived for the remainder of his life?

Q: Once he moved to Chicopee, how did he make a living?

A: Albert opened an automotive repair shop aptly named Albert's Auto Body.

Q: What problems did you encounter as in immigrant?

A: Learning the language was difficult, and he had to work hard to make a living to support his family.

Q: How did he connect with his community?

A: He attended church at St. Stanislaus, a Polish church in his community, went to the annual Polish balls. He gardened and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.