The history of Galicia and Poland is in the background of the Tomczyszyns of Witki and Ladyczyn. Witki is now in Poland, and Ladyczyn in Ukraine. When the Tomczyszyns lived there, both cities were in Galicia, and ruled by the Austrian empire. The region of Galicia is on the border between what is now Poland, Ukraine and Czechoslovakia, and at various times in our history it is a part of Poland, Austria, Ukraine and Russia. It is a very interesting place, because it is so near to three borders, and to what became the division between East and West, so near to Russia. Western Ukrainians live in the eastern half of Galicia, and if we are Ukrainian, we are related to these. These western Ukrainians, on the border of Poland, are the most Polish of all Ukrainians. The family is Catholic, like the Poles, rather than Eastern Orthodox, like the Russians and the western Ukrainians that lived in the eastern half of Galicia. This Polish influence on the far western Ukrainians is due to the rule of the entire Galicia region by Poland for four centuries prior to becoming a part of Austria, in the 1772 partitioning of Poland.
From 1349 until 1772, Galicia was a part of Poland, as it is now again. Prior to that time, it had been an important Slavic principality, fought over by Poles, Ukrainians, Hungarians and even Mongols, during the Mongol invasion (1241). It was once its own sovereign Kingdom of Galicia. The use of the term Galicia goes back at least to the 981’s, when Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus, on his way to march against Poland, invaded and subjected the region. His use of the term demonstrated the distinction between the Ukrainians and Russians, which would become blurred by the inclusion of Galicia in Kievan Rus. The name is a Latinized form of the name of the Ukrainian town and province of Halych. The city of Halych is in the south of Galicia, just north of the Carpathian Mountains which divide the region from Czechoslovakia. Gauls and Germans were there in the second century (A. D. 100-200), when Alans and Scythians came. The presence of Gauls is said to account for the name Halych, which in Latin is Galice. It is similar to Galicia in Spain, and Galatia in Asia minor, where Gaulic Celts settled far away from Britain and France, where the Celts originated. Many more peoples invaded and passed through the region from the time of the end of the Roman empire, in the fifth century. We are looking for the peculiar feature of these round headed Caucasian types, as was our Grandfather Frank, which seems more Ukrainian than Polish. Huns invaded in the fifth century, Slavs from the sixth through ninth, others including the Hungarians again in the ninth centuries, when the region, from 833, was part of a Slavic nation, Moravia. Moravia was invaded by Hungary in 899, and the Lendians, a people that had dominated the Celts of the region, were in turn dominated by the Hungarians. The region was Bohemian in 955, and Polish, for the first time, in 970, even before Vladimir claimed it for Kievan Rus. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was once the Capital of the Russians, before it was surpassed by Moscow. The Polish language is a branch of the West Slavic languages, more closely related to Czech and Slovak than to the East Slavic languages of Russia and Ukraine.
The Ukrainians and Russians have a common origin in a legendary founder Ryurik, mentioned in a book called the Primary Chronicle, written in Kiev about 1111. He consolidated Slavic tribes under a Scandinavian, Viking elite, called the Vorangian Russ at Novogorod. In 882, Novogorod and Kiev joined to become Kievan Rus. In 988, Vladimir I converted these through the Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox Church. Yaroslav the wise then built the Church of St. Sophia in Kiev, and wrote the first Russian Law code, Ruskia Pravda, or Russian Justice. After the Mongol invasion, and the subjection of Russia to the Khan (1240-1478), the “East Slavs,” and the east Slavic language, break into three, the
Belarussians or White Russians, the Malerussians or little Russians, (later the Ruthenians or Ukrainians), and the Great Russians, or those now called Russian. Linguistic archaeology suggests that from 970 and into the eleventh century, the Ukrainian language was formed, as Kievan Rus extended over the genetically distinct peoples of Galicia. The West Slavic nations, Poland and Lithuania, were already linguistically distinct, and were not effected by the conquests of Kievan Rus as the Ukrainians apparently were. After 1478, the Russian Prince was called Tsar, in imitation of both the Khan and the Byzantine emperor. The word is said to derive from Caesar, another word for emperor. Emperors are different from kings, as empires arise late in the lives of nations, and assume the conquest of kings. Polish rule allows the Galicians to remain free of the Khan and Czar, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and throughout Galician history.
Galicia itself is a historical enigma which turns out to be very interesting in considering our most ancient origins. There are two places called Galicia, one in Spain and this one North of the Mountains. There is also Galatia, where Paul addressed his letter to the Galatians. There were various Gallic emigrations, including a very early one into Ireland, resulting in the Gaels and things Gaelic. According to the Roman Historian Livy (5.32), about 500 B. C., during the reign of Tarquinus Priscus in Rome, the Celts, one of three Gallic peoples, became very prosperous and overpopulated. So their king, Ambitgatus, sent out two of his nephews, Bellovesus, who founded Milan in Italy, and Segovesus, to whom were “assigned the Hercynian uplands in South Germany. These, or some other similar Celtic emigration, is likely to be the cause of the names of both Galicia in Spain and in Poland. A doubly interesting possibility arises since it is often said that there was Scythian migration into Scotland. Did Scyths from Russia or Poland come to Scotland because there were Gauls in South Germany? These things might be determined with further study.
In 1018, Galicia returned again to Poland, then in 1031 back to Rus. Then in 1170, Roman the Great (1170-1205, k. 1199-1205) united the principalities of Halych and Volhynia, a nearby city, under the Ruthinian or Ukrainian dynasty of Rurikid. His son Danylo founded Lvov, which he named for his son Lvev. Danylo moved the capital from Halych to Kholm in 1240. During his reign, the Hungarians invaded and subjected Galicia, from 1214-1221, but they were expelled in 1221. The Hungarians, though, continued to include Galicia in their titles, so that Martia Theresa of Austria, upon inheriting the Hungarian titles, would use these to claim the right to participate in the 1772 partition of Poland, taking Galicia. Galicia seems to have survived the Mongol invasion of 1240. By the end of his life, Danylo was King of Galicia and Volhynia (1253-1264), crowned by a Papal legate, the Archbishop Opizo, in Dorohychyn. Lvev moved the capital again, from Kholm to Lviv, in 1272. He was titled king from 1295-1301. Yuri, or George I of Halych-Volhynia was then king from 1301-1308. The last Ukrainian or Ruthenian princes of Halych-Volhynia, Andrew and Lev II, died in 1323. Boleslav Yuri II, a Mazovian-Ruthenian married to the sister of Andrew then ruled from 1323-1340, before a Lithuanian prince ruled from 1340-1349, and Galicia was incorporated with Lithuania into Poland by King Kazimierez. From 1349, Galicia was governed by Hungarians under the Polish crown, then after 1387, was governed by the crown of Poland, as it would be for the next four hundred years, until 1772. This period may be why the Tomczyszyns, though Ukrainian, speak Polish rather than Ukrainian.
The Poles were first united by a legendary founder of the Piast dynasty, around 840. Mieszko, who was not called king but duke, governed the Poles from 962-992. He first converted the Poles to Christianity, in 966. Western culture was brought to Poland, through the western or Roman Catholic Church. Boleslav the Brave was crowned the first king of Poland in 1025, by the Roman Pope. Boleslav II is famous for the Martyrdom of St, Stanislau, Bishop of Krakow, in 1079. His tomb is there in Krakow, in the Gothic cathedral of St Stanislau, built around it in 1359. Boleslav had seized the wife of a nobleman, and would not repent, so Stanislau excommunicated him. On April 11, 1079, Boleslav killed him, after his henchmen refused to do it. But a century later, after Boleslav III divided the kingdom among his sons (1148), the nation dissolved again into warring principalities. The Mongol invasion of 1240-1241 further devastated the region. Wladislow I (1260-1333) had united the warring principalities of Poland. In 1349, King Kazimierz III (Casimir) the Great of Poland took control of the region of Galicia for Poland.
Kazimierez the Great (1309-1370), was king from 1333-1370. He was apparently a very good king tending the common good of his kingdom. According to the Encarta encyclopedia, he “developed commerce, encouraged Jewish immigration to Poland, and so improved the condition of the peasants that he became known as the Peasants’ King. He codified the laws of the kingdom in 1347, and in 1364 founded Jagiełłonian University.” According to the World Book Encyclopedia, he…
…gave law, prosperity and culture to Poland. In 1347, he established the first statute of laws in Europe. He founded Jagellon University in 1364. Casimir also gave refuge to the Jews, who were being driven from most European countries at the time.
During the reign of Kasimierez, the Sejm, a bicameral parliamentary body of greater and lesser nobles became more significant, and this is the precursor of the Sejm or Polish parliament even to the present day. Kasimierez is interred at St. Stnislav’s in Kracow, the ancient Capital of Poland. The sejm later moved to Warsaw, in 1550, and King Zygmut III moved the capital there in 1596.
Poland flourished under the Jagellon dynast, when Queen Jadwiga married Wladislow Jagello, and Poland entered a federal union with Lithuania. Lands of the Teutonic Knights were added when these attacked Poland to prevent the union with Lithuania, and were defeated in 1410. Lithuania and Poland were united under a single king in 1569. By the end of the Jagellon dynasty, in 1572, Poland extended from the Baltic sea to the Black sea, and over all of Ukrainia. He converted the Ukrainians within his dominion from the Greek Orthodox Church to Roman Catholicism. Zygmut III even marched on Moscow, in 1610, just prior to the beginning of the Romanov dynasty that would rule Russia until 1917. From this peak, Poland began a steady decline, when quarreling nobles became stronger than the crown, and chose foreign kings because they were jealous of one another, and easily bribed. Poland then fought wars with the Swedes, Russians and Turks, losing territory to Sweden and losing eastern Ukrainia to Russia. Yet in 1674, General John Sobieski (1624-1696) became King John III, the last great king of Poland. His wife was French, and in his early career as the son of a Polish senator, he led a French leaning faction of the Polish aristocracy. But he considered the Ottmans Turks to be the greatest threat, so he abandoned Louis XIV, who was friendly to the Turks, and allied himself with Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. In 1683 he defeated the Turks at the gates of Vienna, rescuing Austria and stopping a serious threat to Christendom in central Europe. Then in the 1700’s, kings were elected through Russian pressure, while the nobility disliked the Russian influence and sought reform. Russia bribed a faction of the nobles in the Sejm, and in 1733, Augustus IV became king, leading to the war of the Polish Succession (1733-1735). In 1763, Russian troops occupied Poland, and inserted a lover of the empress Catherine of Russia, on the Polish throne. The Ottomans threatened war, leading Russia to agree with Austria to the first division of Poland, in 1772.
Poland was partitioned between Russia, Prussia (Germany) and Austria, in three stages. After the first partition, the Polish diet or council attempted internal reforms. A new constitution was proclaimed, in May 3, 1791, featuring a limited hereditary monarchy, and a cabinet of ministers and reform limiting serfdom. It featured the “world’s first ministry of education,” formed in 1773. Education was to be modernized and secularized. The new constitution alarmed the neighboring nations, especially Russia, leading to a second partition and the loss of more territory. Disgruntled members of the old Polish nobility in alliance with Russia, organized the Targowica confederacy and began military operations against Poland. Prince Jozef Poniatowski resisted them for about three months, before the nation was occupied, the east by Russia and the west by Germany. Russia took most of Lithuania and the Ukraine, while Prussia took Danzig and most of the country west of Warsaw.
Thaddeus Kosciusko then led a patriotic movement, in 1794-1795, to oppose the breakup of Poland in the second partition. Kosciusko was a veteran of the American Revolution (1776-1783). At the time of the Kosciusko rebellion, then, when Michaelis Tomczyszyn was about 17 or 18 and of military age, there was the possibility of an American type of Revolution in Poland. Kosciusko was educated at Jagellon University, and in military engineering at Warsaw and in Germany. Having read the French writers that also affected the American revolutionaries (Montesquieu and possibly Rousseau), and inspired by the idea of equality, he went to America. He first worked for Pennsylvania, constructing forts to defend the Delaware river. This led to job in the Continental Corps of Engineers. He fought under Horatio Gates in the American Revolution, at Saratoga. His selection of a defensive position was a significant contribution to the American victory in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, and the first turn in the tide of the war. In 1778, he directed the construction of the fortifications at West Point, and in 1780-81 served under Nathaniel Greene in South Carolina. In 1783, in gratitude, the U. S. granted him American citizenship, lands in Ohio, and the rank of Brigadier general. But in 1784, he returned to Poland, and attained the rank of Major general in the Polish Army. He led the rebellion after the second partition, was given dictatorial powers, and defeated the Russians at Radawice. A combined Prussian and Russian force then defeated him at Szczekociny. He then successfully defended Warsaw, before his forces were defeated in a decisive battle at Maciejawice. A Russian massacre at Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, led to the final Polish surrender. He was then held prisoner in Russia until 1796, before being ransomed. He visited America, where he was given 15,000 dollars and lands in Ohio. After 1798, He lived in France and Switzerland, working for the Independence of Poland. He died in 1817 in Switzerland, but is buried at the cathedral of St. Stanislau in Krakow. He freed his serfs in Poland just before his death, and in his will, his lands in Ohio were to be sold to support the education of black children. One wonders if Michaelis and Dominici had heard of Koscuisko, or had any thought that within a century, their descendants might benefit so much from his service in America.
This end of Poland occurred during the childhood and teenage years of Michaelis. With the third partition in 1795, just two years before Dominic was born to Michaelis and Marianne, Poland no longer existed as a sovereign nation. Our region around Witki went to Austria in the first partition, in 1772, so that during the childhood of Michaelis in Witki, the Polish border would have been just north of Witki, by 2-4 miles. A most significant change that came with Austrian rule was that elementary education was made compulsory, from 181 under Franz Joseph, and was conducted in the vernacular. Until 1818, his was Polish, and all higher education was conducted in Polish or German. The result was that in this period, there was more Polonization among the Ruthinians than in the previous four hundred years of Polish rule.1 Michaelis would then have learned to read in Polish, together with the Polonized west Ukrainians of Galicia.
In the second partition of 1793, the Austrian region was extended over Lublin, the province just to the north, and way up to the area east of Warsaw. It is with the second partition that Ladyczyn, where Thomas would move a century later, first became Russian territory, from 1793 until 1815. While Michaelis lived and Dominici was young, Witki and the eastern border of Galicia was very near to Russian territory, the northern border and Prussian territory were still over one hundred miles away from Witki.
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna agreed on new borders. Russia traded east Galicia, or the west Ukraine, for the Lublin area of Poland. This border with Russian controlled Poland would move to just north of Witki, while eastern Galicia, including Ladyczyn and Ternopol, would be ruled by Austria as the eastern region of Galicia. It seems that Michael may have grown up and lived his entire life in peaceful submission to the Austrian crown. Our ancestors were ruled by this crown even after Thomas moved to Ladyczyn. Yet one wonders how the Tomczyszyns felt about the demise of Poland, and whether they fought under Kosciusko against the Russians in the attempt to free Poland. Did Dominici fight for Austria against Napoleon? Or with Napoleon and the Polish who fought against the Russians? Or did he not just stay home in Witki, while these events swirled about in the larger world surrounding them?
The region remained ruled by Austria from 1772 until 1918. Austria was then still ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty, and until 1806 was still called the Holy Roman Empire. After the French Revolution (1793), Austria began losing wars to France, and Napoleon replaced the Holy Roman Empire with the Confederation of the Rhine, though Francis II, the son of Maria Theresa and Francis I, continued to rule Austria as Francis I, and hence also Galicia, from 1772. Maria Theresa was the daughter of Charles VI, who was Holy Roman Emperor from 1711-1740. She inherited the crown despite Salic law, which was a law recognized throughout Europe and prevented women from inheriting the crown. This caused war, especially with Germany, from 1740-1748. From 1773, our ancestors were ruled by this Maria Theresa and her husband Francis, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. The succeeding Emperors ruling Galicia were:
Francis Joseph, 1780-1790
Francis II, 1792-1835
Ferdinand I of Austria, 1835-1848
Franz Joseph I of Austria, 1848-1916
Charles I of Austria, 1916-1918.
At first, Austrian rule was an improvement for the Galicians, leading to a general acceptance that lasted into the twentieth century. Andrew Wilson reports that in 1990, portraits of Franz Joseph could still be found in Ukrainian homes. Francis II ruled during the second and third partitions of Poland, in 1793 and 1795. In 1809, most of Galicia was lost to Napoleon, though this was regained after 1815. Napoleon had united much of the Polish territory of Prussia and Austria into the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, a dukedom to be governed by his empire, and west Galicia was to be included. Poles fought for Napoleon against Russia, under a promise that Poland would be restored. But after his defeat, at the Congress of Vienna, Galicia was returned to Austria. The area around Lublin went to Russia, but the region of Ternopol was returned to Galicia. This Lublin area begins just a few miles north of Witki. After 1815, this was the border between Galicia and Russia, just two or three miles north of the Tomczyszyns of Witki.
In the part of Poland taken by Russia after the third partition, the Poles tried to throw off Russian rule. In 1830, they drove the Russians out of Warsaw, but lost the city and all remaining constitutional rights in 1831, when they were defeated at Osroleka in May. A “few thousand” Poles from Galicia fought here. The Polish army was abolished, Poles were deprived of Civil liberties, and their art and treasures plundered. Polish refugees, including patriotic Polish conspirators, entered Galicia from the Russian region.
Under Francis I and Ferdinand I, a foreign minister, Metternich, worked to put down any nationalist movements among the peoples of the Hapsburg Empire, leading to revolutions in 1848 in Hungary, Bohemia and Vienna itself. The Poles in Austria, though, during the lives of Michaelis, Dominici and Johannes, in the 1800’s, were treated better than the Poles in Russian controlled areas of what had once been Poland. But in the 1846 rebellion in Austrian controlled Galicia, “the peasantry,” the Polish and Ukrainian, remained loyal to the Austrian crown. This would be in the last years of the reign of Ferdinand I. Galicia had been dominated by a Polish gentry and Polish nobles, although most of the people in east Galicia were Ukrainians, and there was a large Jewish population. Austrian controlled Galicia was ruled by German administrators. Serfdom bound the peasants to the owners of land, and they could not, for example, quit and go work down the street. In the first years of Austrian rule, according to Wikipedia, “The former serfs were no longer chattel, but became subjects of law and were granted certain personal freedoms, such as the right to marry without the Lord’s permission.” Work was limited, and peasants could appeal above landowners to judges. So it seems to have been the Polish nobles that rebelled, having been circumscribed, while the peasantry remained loyal to the Austrian crown. The uprising was only in Western Galicia. Krakow had been “a free city” and “a republic,” made so by the congress of Vienna. But after the 1846 uprising it became a part of Austrian Galicia, rule from Lviv. However, in 1848, rebellion occurred throughout the empire, and featured another uprising in Krakow, again divided the landowners and the peasants. The peasants, Polish and Ukrainian, killed thousands of their Polish landlords in the Galician slaughter, burning 90% of the estates around Ternopol, just one generation before Thomas moved there to Ladyczyn. In this way, the peasants were again loyal to the Austrian crown, attacking the nobles when they rebelled. Johannes would have then been 21, and Dominici 41, and of military age in Witki. This led to freedom for the serfs, or the end of serfdom. The 1848 revolution “resulted in the emancipation of the serfs and a new constitution; this allowed for the growth of a strong Ukrainian national movement, which was fiercely opposed by the Poles in Galicia.” One wonders what he was doing at the time, whether they were landowners or peasants, and to what extent they identified themselves with the Ukrainians. In the west, as of 1888, 78.7 %of Galicians were Poles, 13.% Ukrainian, and 7.8% Jews, while in the east, 4.5 % were Ukrainians, 21% Poles, and 13.7% Jews. Wikipedia includes the following:
In 1773, Galicia had about 2.6 million inhabitants in 280 cities and market towns and approx. 5,500 villages. There were nearly 19,000 noble families with 95,000 members (about 3% of the population). The serfs accounted for 1.86 million, more than 70% of the population. A small number were full-time farmers, but by far the overwhelming number (84%) had only smallholdings or no possessions.
Since the occupation of Thomas is listed as “farmer,” and they continue so long in the same area, it is likely that the Tomczyszyns were small land owners. Witki was just West of the division between east and west Galicia, and, because the name comes down to us through our oral history, it is likely that they identified themselves as Ukrainians. The word “Ukrainian” was not even used until the early 1800’s, and was then popularized by the writer Shevchenko (1814-1861).2 Prior to that time, the Ukrainians called themselves Ruthinians or Rusyns, despite the difficulty of then distinguishing themselves, the little Russians, from the Great Russians. Yet their location, language, and inclusion in the Roman Catholic, rather than the Ruthinan Eastern Catholic church or the Russian Greek orthodox Church indicates again that they are among the most Polonized of all Ukrainians. When Ukrainian was added to the elementary education in 1818, it was the Old Church Slavonic that once distinguished the eastern Catholics from the Eastern Orthodox. This language is older than the three East Slavic languages, betraying a root older than Vladomir and the eleventh century kingdom of Kievan Rus, demonstrating the distinction between the Ukrainians and the Russians.
The Austrian empire leveled the field between the Ukrainians and Poles of Galicia, and promoted the distinct Ukrainian culture to counter the unity of the Poles, and make Galicia more governable. The Poles of Galicia sought freedom especially for the rest of Poland from Russia, and after the fall of Poland Galicia was the natural base for the movement. The Wikipedia article explains:
In a constitutional experiment, the Austrian empire organized a Galicien diet, in which Poles and Ukrainians had some representation. This, though, came to be dominated by Polish nobles. To counter the inclination of the Polish nobles to make Galicia a platform for their Polish independence movement, Vienna promoted the Ukrainian national movement, which sought to divide Galicia into east and west, separating the Ukrainians from the Poles.
Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, p. 110.
The Ukrainian national movement had begun in the 1830’s. There is a collection of Ukrainian folk songs and stories, The Mermaid of the Dniester, by three Ukrainian authors, which sought to solidify the Ukrainian language. From these things one can see the difference between the eastern and western parts of Ukrania, and the beginnings of a division that would break out into battles between Polish and Ukrainians after World War I. In the Encarta Encyclopedia it is written:
From 1863 prohibitions imposed on the use of the Ukrainian language by Russia’s imperial regime greatly impeded literary development. In western Ukraine, which was then part of the Austrian Empire, writers Ivan Franko and Vasyl Stefanyk, among others, continued to develop all literary genres.
When unrest in the Russian Polish territory spilled over into Galicia, in 1861, the diet was disbanded. Again in 1863, open revolt broke out in the Polish territory, and a state of siege was declared in Galicia. Johannes would have been 35, and Thomas about 11 years old in Witki at the time. Then the Russians set out to make Poland as Russian as possible, making Russian the official language of Poland. Grandmas father Adam Sietkowski, said to have come “from Russia,” probably emigrated under this same pressure. But in Austria, both the Polish and Ukrainian languages could be cultivated.
This is further likely because, after the Austrian Empire became Austria-Hungary in 1867, the Polish nobles negotiated increasing autonomy for Galicia, up through the turn of the century, conservative Poles set aside the struggle for Polish independence and decided to be content with Austrian rule. German-ization and censorship were halted, and the region was ruled as an autonomous province within the empire. The Galician diet functioned again, providing some semblance of representation. Polish and Ruthinian were recognized as the official languages in Galicia, and there were no more rebellions. But as the Poles grew more content, the Ukrainians grew less so. Among the Ruthinians, there was still a strong movement for independence, seeking the division of Galicia into east and west. Some, called Russophiles, sought an alliance with Russia. In hindsight, the Russophiles appear foolish if not treasonous. The Tomczyszyns stand as Poles with the more Polish western Ukrainians, suffering the Russians, speaking and marrying Polish, and belonging to the Roman Catholic rather than the Eastern Catholic division, using Latin rather than Cyrillic alphabet. There was much emigration from Galicia beginning in the 1880’s, but this was more due to the legendary poverty of the area, and of the southern Poles. One wonders about the connection, if any, of Jacob and Thomas to the Ukrainian national movements. The move to Ladyczyn is a move eastward, to the most Ukrainian area of Galicia, and nearer to the center of the Ukraine, where the Dnieper divides the east and west Ukrainians. It is not impossible that they moved there to help in the defense of the border. Russia was at that time entering the Austrian region, and by 1922 the area, including Ternopol, would be would be added to the Russian Empire.
After the Tomczyszyns were safely in America, truly amazing and very terrible things were to happen to any of their relatives left in Europe. In 1867, Hungary had demanded equal consideration in the Austrian crown, and the nation came to be called Austria-Hungary, under the weakened government of Francis Joseph I. The Slavic peoples, centered in the independent nation of Serbia, sought independence from the German and Hungarian speaking rulers of Austria-Hungary, and on June 28, 1914, Serbian patriots shot Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the nephew of Emperor Francis Joseph and heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. The assassination sparked World War I, in which Poles were drafted to fight in German, Austrian and Russian armies. Germany and Austria were part of the central powers, and were defeated by the Axis powers of France, Britain, Russia and the United States. Poland was a chief battleground in World War I. In 1915, the Germans drove the Russians out of most of Poland, and on November 5, 1916, an independent kingdom of Poland, under the protection of Germany and Austria, was proclaimed. Grandma had been born in January of that year, and Appoline her mother would be likely to have aunts there. Poland received most of Galicia from Austria in the treaty of Versailles, when the boundaries were redrawn after World War I. One wonders what Thomas, Jacob, and the Galician Tomczyszyns of Bremond thought about the news they must have received about events back home, and whether, for example, any letters were exchanged or new immigrants received. What were the brothers and sisters of Thomas, the aunts and uncles of Jacob, doing back in Galicia at this time? Were they Polish Patriots, so that they rejoiced when Poland again became a Sovereign nation, and Galicia a part of Poland? Did anyone consider returning, even for a visit? Rozalia died there in 1858, in August, when Thomas would have been six years old. Michael and Paulus, born 1854 and 1858, seem both to have died young, as their names are reused when, in 1865 and 1866, a Michael and Paulus are born. Paulus is listed as having died in 1869, which would leave Michael and Catharyna. Catharyna married Joseph Sobku in Dzikow Stary in 1874. Either might have given birth to cousins of Jacob that remained in Galicia, not to mention the offspring of the sisters of Dominici that were the Aunts of Johannes in the 1800’s, and the brothers and sisters of Johannes, Maryanna, Catharina and Antonius. The sisters, aunts of Thomas, were married in 1843 and 1855 respectively, and would have offspring with the names Hulak and Witko, who would also be cousins of Thomas. These cousins might have been in their sixties to eighties when after World War I, when Poland again became a nation. At the end of World War I, Thomas was then in his late sixties in Bremond. In 1918, his grandson Frank was eight years old, and the Flue epidemic struck, taking his sister and one grandchild. Either Michael or Catharina, siblings of Thomas, might have seen Poland again become a nation. Catharina would be 58 and Michael almost 53. The war had broken out on the eastern front between Russia and Austria, in Galicia. Their future would bring battles with the Ukrainians (1918-1943), a dictator of Poland (1926-1935), massacre by the Russians (1939-1941) and the subjection with the Jews to the Holocaust (1941-1945), before being ruled by the USSR behind the “iron curtain.” After World War II, and right up till the time of the dismantling of the Soviet Union (1989-1993). Poland has now emerged again as a free and sovereign nation, as it had not been since 1772, with the brief exception of the eight years just after World War I.
In the Encarta encyclopedia article on the Ukraine, it is written:
After World War I, western Galicia sought to join the new Poland, but eastern Galicia sought independence, leading to war between Poles and Ukrainians. Ukraine, represented by the Central Rada led by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, declared independence in early 1918. However, the first modern Ukrainian government collapsed following invasions by the Soviet Red Army and German intervention. Subsequent Ukrainian governments, led by Pavlo Skoropadsky and Symon Petlyura, also failed to withstand Red Army invasions, and a Bolshevik-affiliated government was established in most of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) was a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I in 1918, an independent west Ukrainian republic was formed in Galicia. It entered into federation with the briefly independent east Ukrainian state. However, the west Ukrainians lost a bitter struggle with the Poles and were incorporated into Poland in 1923. Czechoslovakia and Romania absorbed Transcarpathia and Bukovina, respectively.
The Ukrainians were subjected by Poland. In 1920, Poland and Russia battled over the border. The Polish advanced to Kiev, before being pushed back. A settlement attempted to established the Curzon line, but more fighting broke out, which would have passed through the region of Witki. With allied help, the Poles beat back the Russians east of Warsaw, and the 1921 treaty of Riga established the new boundary east of the Curzon line, returning to Poland almost all its eastern frontier lost in 1795. It is in this period that Ladyczyn and the region just west of Tarnopol become part of the Bolchevik Soviet Union. Poland adopted a new constitution in 1921. Ukrainians, probably those of Eastern Galicia that were eastern Orthodox and wrote in the Russian alphabet, then resented being Policized. The resulting unrest allowed the dictator Pilsudsky to take power in 1926, in a military revolt against the Polish government. Before his death, a new constitution sought to perpetuate dictatorial power, in 1935. Nonaggression pacts were signed, with Russia in 1932 and with Germany in 1934.
But then Hitler took Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the British realized that Poland would be next. Lord Chamberlain offered British assistance if the Poles would resist a German invasion. Hitler then caused a crisis by demanding Danzig, new access in the Polish Corridor that dived Germany from Prussia, and new rights for the German minority in Poland. Poland then made a defensive alliance with Great Britain, and ended the nonaggression pact in April of 1939. Poles were attacked in Danzig in the summer, and in August, Germany and Russia agreed to again divide Poland. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, and Britain and France then declared war on Germany, starting World War II. But the allies provided little help in Poland. The Poles fought stubbornly, but were of course no match for the Nazi forces at the start of the war. The Polish cavalry rode out on horses to oppose the German tanks. Russia also invaded from the West on the 17th of September. After this date, all territory east of the San including Witki, became a part of the Soviet Union. On September 28, Germany and Russia divided Poland, taking the east and west halves respectively. Polish officers and as many as 10,000 were murdered in the Katayn forest near Smolensk. From February 1940-June 1941, 335,000 Poles were deported to Siberia and into the Gulag later described by Aleksandr Solzhenytsyn. 198,500 were from the Western Ukraine. Germany then attacked Russia in June of 1941 and rolled over the whole of Poland. One hundred thousand Polish soldiers escaped to France, and a government in exile was formed under general Sikorski. This was moved to London after the Nazis took France. Thinking of Ukrainian independence, some Ukrainians joined the Nazis against the Russians, and helped attack the Poles, who then retaliated, continuing the conflict between Poles and Ukrainians that emerged after WWI.
It is at this time that we lose our last connection to Poland, as Grandma is remembered sending WWII packages to the Siatkowskis in Pennsylvania to be sent to Poland, and Siatkowskis from Pennsylvania may have gone to fight with the French. There is no memory of any Tomczyszyn connection back to Galicia, and it would not be surprising if every single Tomczyszyn of Galicia perished. Three million Poles, as well as three million Jews, were killed in Polish concentration camps, and Auschwitz is in south Poland. The Germans implemented a policy of the systematic extermination of Poles as well as Jews. Auschwitz is in the central area, at the town of Oswiecim, about one hundred miles away from Witki, which is in the Western south of Poland. The Lodz Ghetto, to the north east, is within one hundred twenty miles, and Warsaw. The Warsaw ghetto was the scene of a three week uprising by the Jews in opposition to the Nazi Holocaust, in April of 1943. Another smaller revolt was attempted in the concentration camp at Sobibor, near Lublin, where 200,000 Jews were killed. This may be the scene of the most hellish catastrophe in all human history.
At this time, Karol Wojtyla was working at a stone quarry and then a chemical factory. He was born at Wadowice, just south of Krakow, in 1920. He had studied drama and poetry at Jagellon University, and would study theology at the Catholic University of Lublin, and become Archbishop of Krakow. He would then become Pope John Paul II, and, as the first Polish Pope, would be influential in the demise of communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
During the war, a Polish government in exile was established in London. Thousands of Poles escaped, German occupied Poland, and fought with the allies, for the government in exile against the Germans. Some Siatkowskis from Pennsylvania joined the French to fight the Nazi Germans. The Russians invaded in 1944, and the Polish underground helped the Russians drive out the Germans. But at Yalta after the war, the allies agreed to recognize a communist government at Lublin rather than the free Polish government in exile in London, and also agreed to recognize the Curzon line, shifting the border westward, to where it is today, twenty miles east of Witki. Poland remained behind the iron curtain and controlled by Moscow until Lech Walesa and the Polish Pope led to Polish independence from the Soviet Union in the 1980’s. Thadeusz Mazowiecki, an aid to Walesa, became the first non-communist premier of Poland in 40 years, and proceeded to dismantle the communist system and consolidate the transition to democracy. Full national sovereignty was regained in 1992. Since that time, although the communist party does well in elections, Poland has joined NATO and, in 2003, the European Union so that dominance by the Russians will be less likely in the future.
Before the last Tomczszyn reunion in Bremond, about 2015, we wrote a letter to the church in Starry Djikow, where we suspect three generations of Tomszszyn and Witko relatives are burried, at least. A Witko and a Niekarz are among the workers listed on the internet at that church. I was nearly able to get a friend to translate a letter into Polish, and almost got a sister to help, but literally not a single living person could be convinced of the significance of re-establishing the connection to Poland. It is customary too to pay a “contribution” to the church of about 20$ minimum, as the priests there receive many genealogy inquiries, and the personal interest of Mr. Niekarz or Mr. Witki could not be engaged, due to the language barrier. As Polish politics are sharply divided between a liberal left and quasi fascist right, allied with conservative Catholics, it seemed fine to let the payment go for now. We have had relatives visit Poland, buy the significance of stopping by Witki or the Church and graveyard at Starry Djikow simply could not be communicated. Kie Tomczszyn has a daughter, but having discovered the connection to Lvov in the Ukraine, the connection to Witki could not be communicated convincingly. But my article, with a few editorial errors, has been excerpted in the Bremond Press, and the whole stored in the Bremond Historical Museum.
Early Polish history:
mPoland became a Duchy under Lesko I in 550 A.D, separating from the East Slaves that became the Russians, big and small and white. Piastas, 842 Ziemovitas, son, 867 Lesko IV 892 Ziemomislas, son, 921 Micislaus, 962 Boleslaus, 992 Mictus Lanus 1025, 1034, anarchy. Casimir I 1041
Micaslaus is Miesko, father of Boleslav, who entered the protection of the Pope, 966. His son Boleslav I is the first king of Poland.
From the writer called Gallus Anonymous, that is, the invisible Frenchman, we learn that Piast was a wheelwright, that his father was Cosicko, his wife Jabka and his son Seimowit, and that he lived for 120 years, from 741 to 861. Seimowit is the great great grandfather of Meisko. (Wikipedia, “Piast the Wheelwright.” The story is that Piast entertained a guest who granted him a cellar of plenty, from which he provided for his neighbors. For this reason, he was chosen king to replace the tyrant Popiel. Gneizno is the city of the Piasts, having moved from Geitz to “the nest,” where the most ancient coronations occurred, and Otto the Holy Roman Emperor visited the tomb of St. Adalbert. The white eagle emblem became the official coat of arms ofPrezemyi in 1295. But in Wikipedia, on Gneizno, it is written:
According to the Polish version of a legend, three brothers went hunting together but each of them followed a different prey and eventually they all traveled in different directions. Rus went to the east, Čech headed to the west to settle on the Říp Mountain rising up from the Bohemian hilly countryside, while Lech traveled north. There, while hunting, he followed his arrow and suddenly found himself face-to-face with a fierce, white eagle guarding its nest from intruders. Seeing the eagle against the red of the setting sun, Lech took this as a good omen and decided to settle there. He named his settlement Gniezno (Polish gniazdo – ‘nest’) in commemoration and adopted the White Eagle as his coat-of-arms.
This Lech may be or be related to the Lesko I listed as ruling the Poles in Piast progenitors from 550 A.D.
Our “Timechart History of the World” relates :
Samatia was the ancient name of modern Russia and Poland. From the story of the separating of Lech, Czech and Rus, there is no Russian history until the Vorangian Rurik, 862, when “Huric, a Vorangian chief, established the first government. Why was Rus named Rus, and either the river after him, or he after the river. Names continue in a family line for an astonishing number of generations. The descendants of Rurlo ruled amid many vicissitudes for 736 years, until 1598. These prior to Vladimir I are:
900 Olega, regent
980 Wladimir I
Rurik is said to have come from Norway, where names go back a bit further, to Olaf and Halfdan in the 7th century, and these to Odin and Skiold of the first century B.C (Odin, 70 B.C. settled Scandinavia, and his son Skiold was king 40 B.C. “The Skioldunga reign until Olaf introduced Christianity,” in 996 A.D. The Finns, expelled by the Goths, are said to be the origin of the Normans who conquered England in 1066.
Primary Chronicle, cited by Wikipedia:
6378–6387 (870–879). On his deathbed, Rurik bequeathed his realm to Oleg, who belonged to his kin, and entrusted to Oleg’s hands his son Igor’, for he was very young.
6388–6390 (880–882). Oleg set forth, taking with him many warriors from among the Varangians, the Chuds, the Slavs, the Merians and all the Krivichians. He thus arrived with his Krivichians before Smolensk, captured the city, and set up a garrison there. Thence he went on and captured Lyubech, where he also set up a garrison. He then came to the hills of Kiev, and saw how Askold and Dir reigned there. He hid his warriors in the boats, left some others behind, and went forward himself bearing the child Igor’. He thus came to the foot of the Hungarian hill, and after concealing his troops, he sent messengers to Askold and Dir, representing himself as a stranger on his way to Greece on an errand for Oleg and for Igor’, the prince’s son, and requesting that they should come forth to greet them as members of their race. Askold and Dir straightway came forth. Then all the soldiery jumped out of the boats, and Oleg said to Askold and Dir, “You are not princes nor even of princely stock, but I am of princely birth.” Igor’ was then brought forward, and Oleg announced that he was the son of Rurik. They killed Askold and Dir, and after carrying them to the hill, they buried them there, on the hill now known as Hungarian, where the castle of Ol’ma now stands.
Igor twice besieged Constantinople in 941 and 944, and although Greek fire destroyed part of his fleet, he concluded with the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII a favourable treaty (945), the text of which the chronicle has preserved. In 913 and 944 the Rus’ plundered the Arabs in the Caspian Sea during the Caspian expeditions of the Rus’, but it remains unclear whether Igor had anything to do with these campaigns.Prince Igor Exacting Tribute from the Drevlyans, by Klavdiy Lebedev (1852–1916).
Igor was killed while collecting tribute from the Drevlians in 945. The Byzantine historian and chronicler Leo the Deacon (born ca 950) describes how Igor met his death: “They had bent down two birch trees to the prince’s feet and tied them to his legs; then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince’s body apart.” Igor’s widow, Olga of Kiev, avenged his death by punishing the Drevlians. The Primary Chronicle blames his death on his own excessive greed, indicating that he tried to collect tribute for a second time in a month. As a result, Olga changed the system of tribute gathering (poliudie) in what may be regarded as the first legal reform recorded in Eastern Europe.
Linguistic archaeology indicates of course that the Russian language does not come from from Norway, and geneological archaeology will confirm that the Norwegian nobility did not penetrate far into the east Slavic people. What is called “Balto-Slavic” breaks off early from the Germanic and Celt, then the Slavic into East, South and West, the Poles and Czechs together as West, the white, little and big Russians, East Slavic. The Norse and English are from the Germanic. Estonian and Bosque are not even Indo-European, but isolated language groups, so anciently did these peoples part from the others.
Two more windows into the origins of the Slavic peoples might be Herodotus and Genesis. The Scythians and Massagetae, just to the North of the Black Sea and East of the Caspian sea, seem quite primitive, though from somewhere here will be found those who taught the Greeks to ride horses.
Selection from “Genesis on Man”
The genealogies of Genesis are quite serious, containing nearly our only window into the lives of these humans of about 4000 years ago, or 2000 B. C. That anything at all remains is absolutely astonishing. The nations of the world all around a place just east of Shinar, or about the Mountain of Ararat, are identified, and an account given of the origins of three different branches of man. A genetic bottleneck may be detectable in genetic archaeology, if someone were in a position to look for this, about 24-2300 B.C. as has been found about 70,000 years ago.
The sons of Japheth are listed first, and we will collect what is said to identify each. [Note 7] Gomer “founded those whom the Greeks call Galatians, but were then called Gomerites” (I.vi). His sons are named: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarma. Magog “founded those…who are by the Greeks called Scythians.” Madai, Medians, or Medes. Javan, is Ion, or “John.” The sons of Javan are also named. Josephus writes, “From Javan, Ionia and all the Grecians are derived, whose sons are also named: Elisha, Tarshish Kittim, Dodanim. Tubal: Tubalsk. Meshek: (Mosoch) Cappadocians…Mazaca, Moscow. and Tiras (Tire?).
Shem is the elder brother, though Japheth was described first. He is the father of all Semites,” including Eber (10: 23). Elam. Assur. Arpachshad, whose sons are Shelah, (whose son was Eber) Lud. Aram whose sons are Uz, Hal, Gether and Mash. The son of Eber is Peleg, named by Eber for the division of languages that resulted from the Tower of Babel, which is hence dated, to the third and fourth generation after the flood.
Peleg and Eber are the source of the Hebrew language, preserving one line through Shem and Noah. The tradition too, and writings, may have been preserved.
Mizraim became the father of the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehabim, the Naphtuhim, the Pathrusim, the Casluhim, and the Caphtorimfrom whom the Philistines sprang.
The commentary in the Oxford (1972) notes:
The Pathrushim: the people of upper (southern) Egypt cf Is.11:11; Jer. 44:1,Ez 29:14, 30:14 Caphtorim, Crete. For Caphtor as the place of the origin of the Philistines, cf. Deut 2:23 Amos 9:2 Jer 47:4.
That is the first scrap of any historical mention I have ever seen of the difference between the peoples of Northern and Southern Egypt and the origin of the people of Crete. The history of Egypt has begun for us with the joining of the two by Narmer, Mr. Scorpion, as recorded in the Steele of Narmer. The rest has been pre-history.
The philistines are then said to have come from Crete, while the difference between Greeks and Cretans would be that between Japhethites and Hammites.
The tower of Babel is intended also as a refuge in the event of another flood (Josephus, Ant., IV.2). This tower is prior to the stepped pyramid of the Olemec, Maya and Aztecs and the triangular pyramids of Egypt. But one expects a common source. The wheel was invented only once, and peoples otherwise quite capable of a wagon simply did not think of it. Nature too produces shoulder joints, but cannot otherwise fit two independent parts, as is needed to make a wheel. In pre-deluvian finds, there is no wheel. There are many similarities between the Scythians and the native Americans, and such horsemen might have had the best chance of crossing the Bering Straight, though before the use of metals and the wheel.
The prophecy of Ezekiel refers to the nations of Genesis 10. After describing the restoration of Israel, Ezekiel is told to set his face “toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” The identification of Magog with Russia is not obvious, and needs to be demonstrated, because it is not the nation most obvious to the prophets themselves, to whom the utter parts of the north might mean the Assyrian, and the kings of the East, the Persian or even Babylonian. The Oxford note to Ezekiel 38 and 39 states: Since the foe from the north in Jeremiah (25.9) and Ezekiel (26.7) was Babylon, it is probable that the foe here described is a grandiose surrogate for Babylon…” The identification suggested (p. 1049):
…Gog, king of Magog, both unidentified, though the general location is to the north. Meshech, Assyrian “Mushku,” south of Gomer…Tubal, Assyrian “Tabal,” south of Beth-togarmah…Cush, Ethiopia, Put [with Cush, Ethiopia], Gomer, Assyrian, “Gimirrai,” Cimmerians in central Asia Minor (Gen. 10.2-3). Beth-togarmah, Assyrian “Tilgarimmu, east of the southernmost Halys River…
Tubal and Meshek are trading partners with Tyre (Ezekiel 27:13). They are elsewhere mentioned in the table of nations of Genesis 10. Magog, Tubal and Mechek are three of seven sons of Japheth, the son of Noah. The others are Gomer, Madai, Javan and Tiras, north of Israel and Mesopotamia. On the map printed in some Bibles, Javan is Greece; Gomer the area of the Ukraine, Tubal is placed south of the black sea, in Turkey, and, Tiras is the area of Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania. They may easily have spread north from Ararat and around from there, to become the nations at the four corners of the world. The “Caucasian” Europeans are likely to be descendants of Japheth, rather than Shemites or Hammites, who would be the Semetic and African peoples respectively. Asian, Pacific island and American peoples are either unknown to Genesis, or derived from these. Scofield, (1909, p. 833) notes:
… That the “primary reference” in Ezekiel 38:2-3 “is…to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. The whole passage should be read in connection with Zech. 12.1-4; 14.1-9; Mt. 24.14-30; Rev. 14.14-20; 19. 17-21. “Gog” is the prince of Magog, his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel…
Van Impe often states that a longitude line drawn north from Israel goes through the center of Moscow. He, Gog, is told that the Lord will “put hooks into your jaws,” as though he were the sea beast, and “I will bring you forth…Persia, Cush and Put are with them…Gomer (Cimmeria) and all his hordes; Bethtogarmah (Turkey?) from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes, many peoples are with you” (38:4-6). “In the latter years, you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land where people were gathered from many nations and now dwell securely” (38:8). Then, as Isaiah wrote: “In that day, the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
The destruction of Gog of Magog looks much like a description of the battle that is Armageddon in the nineteenth chapter of the Revelation. This has been done so that He might vindicate his holiness before their eyes, and has been long prophesied (38:16-17). There will indeed be a great earthquake in Israel, and worldwide, and “all the men that are upon the face of the earth shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down…every man’s sword shall be against his brother…torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone…I will give you to the birds of prey of every sort and to the wild beasts to be devoured” (38:20-39:8). For seven years, the people of Israel make fires of the weapons, which we do not believe are literally shields and bucklers and such. For seven years they will be burying the corpses in a cemetery of Gog. Ezekiel is told to summon the birds for a sacrificial feast (39:17), the same as that in Revelation 19. “You shall eat the flesh of the mighty and drink the blood of the princes of the earth.” There follows in Ezekiel the measuring of the temple.
Following Gabelein and Scofield, Van Impe discusses the nations (11: 59 And Counting, pp. 119-127). Following Josephus History, I. vi, he identifies Magog as Scythian, Meshek with Moscow, Tubal with Tubalsk, Rosh with Russia. There is no ancient memory of the Scythians remaining, prior to the Christian era, beyond Herodotus, writing of the early 5th century B.C. Bethtogarma is identified with Turkey, and Tarshish with Britain, which is neither certain nor impossible. The Oxford edition suggests Southern Spain, Ez. 10:9, “Uphaz,” a place unknown.
Van Impe explains that Gogh is the word those north of the Caucasus might use for the fort of Gogh. “Meshech and his tribe left Asia Minor and went to the western part of of the land we now call Russia, settling in what is presently called Moscow (Mesech, then Mosach, then Moscovi, and now Moscow…Tubal, with his tribe left Asia Minor and settled in the eastern part of the ;land we now call Russia. On Ezekiel 38:2-3, Van Impe notes:
If we had a Jewish version of the Bible, written in Hebrew- we would find the name “Rosh” instead of “chief prince of….” The English translators translated the meaning of the name rather than the name itself. The sentence then would read Gog of Magog and Rosh of Meshech and Tubal.” Van Impe writes, “Rosh was the name of the tribe dwelling in the area of the Volga. Citing Wilbur Smith,
…He obtained from the Soviets themselves information about the derivation of their modern name Russia.” The story goes back to the eleventh century when the barbarian hordes were attacking Constantinople, the emperor said, Who are these northerners, They seem to have no name.” As he searched, he came to Ezekiel 38:2 and the name “Rosh.” (p. 11:59 and Counting, p. 122). Checking out the geography, he concluded that these people from the uttermost parts of the north…had to be the Rosh of this verse. Consequently, for the next 700 years, the nations of the world called these people “Rosh.
The Quran is consistent with the understanding of Van Impe regarding Gog and Magog. Following the story of Moses and Khadir, Sura 18 tells the story of Zul- Qarnain, thought to be Cyrus. He was taken on a journey to the limits East and Weast, and then North, where he builds a wall for a primitive people to protect them from “Yajuj and Majuj, (Gog and Magog). In a valley between two mountains, he built a wall with blocks of iron covered by molten metal, so that Gog and Magog were unable to climb it or dig through it. This wall will be brought to dust when the promise of the Lord comes to pass:
And on that day, we shall leave them (Yajuj and Majuj) to climb like waves upon oneanother; and the trumpet will be blown, and we shall bring them (all creatures ) together. And on that day, we shall give hell for disbelievers to see, all spread out (for them)…Sura 18.99-100