History of Dobra Szlachecka

Dobra (until 1949, divided into Dobra Szlachecka and Rustykalna) is a village on a right bank of the San River, 11 miles north of Sanok, in the Galician portion of Poland. Dobra's native inhabitants were Ruthenians. In 1339, the Ruthenian principality of Halicz was annexed by Casimir the Great, King of Poland. On June 28, 1402, the Ruthenian inhabitants of Dobra received a grant of privileges from Jagiello, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. The King needed warriors for the war with the German Teutonic Knights. These privileges made the people of Dobra members of the noble estate, the ruling class of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuanian, the _szlachta_.

The village grew and one part became known as Dobra Rustykalna. Before 1914, more than 500 inhabitants of Dobra left for America. In the Census of 1921, 87 percent of Dobra's 1760 inhabitants identified themselves as Ukrainian's.

After September 17, 1939 the border between Germany and the Soviet Union crossed through the village. The Soviets exiled some families living near San to Siberia. On June 22, 1941, the village was occupied by the Germans who forced some of the young people to work in Germany. After the war, the Government of Poland deported one half of the population of Dobra to the Soviet Union. A year later, in 1947, during Action Vistula, as the ethnic cleansing of southeast Poland of 150 thousand Ukrainian residents was known, the remaining residents of Dobra were forcibly relocated to the Western and Northereastern areas of Poland, formerly part of Germany.

Up to the present day, the people of Dobra, and other Ukrainians, are still not permitted to return to their homes. Those, whose parents were citizens of US (many people returned from the US to Dobra during the Depression) were permitted to emigrate to the US in 1947, but they were stripped of their Polish citizenship and are still denied Polish citizenship today. (Art. 4, pkt.2 Ustawa z dnia 08.01.1951 o obywatelstwie polskim-Dz.U. nr 4, poz. 25 case no. ISSO.II/2b/5033/18/91, Urzad Wojewodzki w Krosnie, 06.17.1991). On June 27 and 28, a reunion of former residents will be held in Dobra.

By: Jan Popiel



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