Moussia 7 : A double wedding in 1905

In the two preceding articles, reference has been made to a double family wedding on 13th June, 1905 in Kazimierz Dolny in Poland, near to Wylagi, the estate and country house of the Sila-Nowicki family. On that day, Moussia’s aunts Zofia and Stanislawa married Wladyslaw and Ignacy Dzierzynski; we already saw a picture taken on that occasion of Moussia with the dog Hector. André Dzierzynski has given me permission to publish the above, very private picture. It is dear to his heart because Ignacy and Stanislawa, Moussia’s favorite aunt, are his grandparents. It was taken at Wylagi, after the wedding in the church, just outside the house.

From the left, sitting:  Jozefina, wife of Wiktor-Franciszek, the formidable woman who brought up four children of his previous marriage and five of their own, at the age of 64. Fondly leaning against her is Moussia’s brother Julian, at the age of 8. We will hear more of him in later articles. In the centre: the pater familias Wiktor-Franciszek at the age of 92 (he died at 97). Next to him are Wladyslaw Dzierzynski at the age of 24 and his wife Zofia, 33.  At Zofia’s feet sits Maria (“Moussia”), aged 10. Standing in the centre is Ignacy Dzierzynski, aged 26 with his wife Stanislawa, 31 and standing next to her is the parish priest of the Fara Church in Kazimierz Dolny. The couple on the right of Ignacy Dzierzynski are the local doctor with his wife, witnesses at the wedding. The others are the local people working in the house. Please note the child at the feet of Jozefina. She loved children of others as her own. Since Moussia  and Julian lived in Moscow at that time, they must have been taken to the wedding by Zofia and Wladyslaw, who worked in Moscow.

The country house (in Polish, it is called a dwor) at Wylagi is shown below in a picture taken in 1944 through a military fence, following an occupation of the house by the Red Army. Please note the two attic windows in the centre. According to the family history, the notorious Felix Dzierzynski, brother of Wladyslaw and Ignacy, who was considered a renegade and no longer welcome in the family, came to the house to seek refuge shortly after the wedding, with the Tsarist police at his heels. He had been addressing a meeting of protesting workers in nearby Pulawy. The good-hearted Jozefina persuaded her husband to hide him in the attic for a short time. Since then, there was a family saying that their saintly Jozefina had saved the Bolshevik revolution.

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