HUSBAND        Rudy Freudig

Born 9/11/1911 Danbury    Connecticut
Married 4/18/1936
Died 3/4/1987 Flushing New York
FATHER - Rudy Freudig Other Wives: 
MOTHER Mary Freudig
WIFE Mary Symochko
Born 9/9/1911 Cleveland  Ohio
FATHER - Konstantine Symochko
MOTHER - Tatiana Medwid Other Husbands:
Sex Children Birth date Birthplace Date of Marriage - Name of Spouse Date of Death - City, State
M/F In order of birth M/D/Y City State Country


My father, Konstantine Symochko, was born in Hanchowa in 1875 and died in 1927. He was married to Taca Medwid about 1906 or 1907 in Hanchowa. My sister Melka was born October 8, 1908 and she and my parents came to the USA some time in 1909 or 1910 to Cleveland Ohio. I was born September 9, 1911.
About 1912 my grandfather became ill, and wrote to my father to please come back to Hanchowa to take care of the homestead. I don't remember if my grandfather was still alive when we arrived because I was two years old. My parents told me that the old house was ill bad shape, so my father had to build a new log cabin for us. By 1914 the new building was finished, when World War I broke out. Since he was married and had two girls, he did not go in the army at first. After all single young men were drafted, my father was called up in the end of 1914 or beginning of 1915.
My brother was born at the end of 1915 or early 1916, I don't know his exact birthday (We never kept records of births or deaths.) My mother was left alone with three children.
Soldiers came through our village, bill we could not communicate because they did not know our language, and we did not know theirs. They set tip a kitchen in our orchard. They killed our chickens, pigs, lambs, and cattle. The just cleaned up the whole village. Then Russian soldiers came and saw that the people were starving. They wanted to help us but the people had never seen canned food, so they would not take it. They thought that it was horsemeat.
I don't remember much other than what people talked about. The first soldiers had burned homes after they took all the food from the people. Out of 160 homes in the village, about half were totally burned or vary badly damaged. In 1916 or 1917 Spring came, and we only had one horse left. My job was to take care of my brother. I had to wash and feed him, and I carried him on my back. I could not lift him, so I went down on the floor on all fours, and lie crawled on my back, and then I had to stand up.
Mother and my older sister went in the field to plow and seed the rye. One day mother came home ill, and blood started flowing from her nose, then her mouth. My sister went to the next village to get our uncle. He came with her but mother died that night. I remember the neighbors came to talk to our uncle Metro Medwid. Some of the men made a wooden coffin, and I remember my mother being laid out in our kitchen. The neighbors brought in food for us. The next day was the funeral but I did not go because I was left to take care of my brother Peter. Uncle stayed with us for a few days, and then he got a horse and wagon and packed what little we had. We didn't have much clothing and no shoes, and no food. Uncle Metro took us home with him. He was the youngest for four. He was 21 years old at the time, and not married. He didn't know what to do with his sister's three children.
I believe this was around 1918-1919 and our father was still away even though the war was ended. He was imprisoned in a Russian prison for some reason unknown to me. Uncle Metro sent my brother and me to live for a short time with a distant relative. I was about seven or eight years old. My sister stayed with uncle during this time. My brother and I were sent back to Uncle Metro when the people didn't want us any more, because they said that we were too much trouble.
After awhile we all three went to stay with an old couple whom we were told to call "aunt and uncle", but I don't know if they were related to us. We lived in our village called Skwirtne. We were there for some time, and then we went back to our uncle sometime in the fall. I remember going out into the mini garden to get some potatoes for supper. I believe it was 1919 or 1920. A strange tall man came to Uncle Metro's house asking for him. Uncle was not at home, and we were terrified of this unshaven tall skinny man, whose clothes were almost like rags. He did not identify himself.
When Uncle Metro came home he introduced us to the tall skinny man as our father. I don't remember my father before he went to war. He stayed a few days then he got a wagon and horse, a bag of potatoes, and a few other things, put us in the wagon and took us home to Hanchowa. The house was empty and the windows were boarded up. It was late in the Season. I remember being very cold. I wrapped my brother the best I could to keep him Warm. We didn't have any firewood to heat up the house. My sister and I and even my brother, went into the woods to gather firewood so that we could cook some potatoes (two for each). We did not have anything else to eat.
Next day some neighbors got together and the whole village came with wagon full of food. That was all we had: Turnips, beets, sauerkraut, and some flour to make bread. There wasn't any meat or milk.
About 1921 or 1922 my father married an old widow, Julia Durniak. She had a lot more than we had. She had two sons, Harry and Peter with her. There were seven of us. Julia didn't have any land, just a small house. She used to work for people to support her soils. She moved to our house and it was bit better for us for awhile. About 1925 or 1926 father became ill and died. We were left with a stepmother who was good to us. I was lucky that I was born in the USA because when I went to the agent, he was able to apply for the necessary papers. I had a birth certificate, so all I needed was an American Passport.
I remember I had a second uncle on my father's side in Yonkers, New York. I had their address so I wrote to them. Uncle Nick Symochko sent me my passport. (Nick was Marko's older brother). It took two years to get all the paperwork. I finally arrived in New York January 1, 193 1. Hnat Durniak picked me up at Ellis Island January 2, 193 1. Hnat was related to my stepmother and her sons Harry and Peter. Harry married my sister Melka.
Hnat Durniak, his wife Antoinette (Korin) knew me from Europe since they had come to America a few years earlier. (They had two children: Mary and Walter) They gave me a place to stay, food and clothes, until they found me a job as housekeeper for $ 10 a month. I had one Sunday afternoon "off " a month. There were three children, and the parents. I washed the family laundry by hand in a wash tub. I ironed everything and cleaned the eight-room house and helped with the cooking. It was a never-ending job from 5 am to 11 p.m.
I left that job and came to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York where I stayed at the home of Anthony Durniak, (my stepmother's older son, who had emigrated to the USA before she married my father) and his wife Mary (Kuryllo) and their three children: Peter, Michael, and Julia. They helped me to get a job in a factory where I worked as a "piece worker." (i.e., I got paid by the number of pieces I produced.)
Rudy Freudig worked in the office as a timekeeper. I used to make a good salary: $18 - $20 a week, so the managers sent the timekeeper to find out how I could make so much more than the other ladies could. That is how Rudy and I met. We started dating, and then on April 18, 1936 we were married.
World War 11 broke out and Rudy was drafted because we did not have any children. He was inducted into the Army in 1942 and served until discharge in 1948. We had problems because Rudy was moodier and would not talk, but we made it. He lived until 1987. He was born in 1911 and died 1987. I am still living in our home in Amenia, New York.