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Bronislov Havrilkevicius (Gavrilkevicius)

(Memoirs of J. Kavaliauskas)

J. Kavaliauskas lived in the Vinkšnupiai Manor after World War II. There were 10 rooms on the ground floor, and 6 on the first floor allocated to peasants. Rooms were unfurnished. But when Bronislavas was a little boy before WWII (around 1938), he remembers seeing beautiful cocoa colour furniture, round and square tables, luxurious chairs.

Vinkšnupiai, according to J. Kavaliauskas, belonged to Volskis, the governor of Suvalkai region. Volskis had two daughters, Irena and Stase. Irena lived in Poland, while Stasė Volskytė lived in Vinkšnupiai. Bronislav Havrilkevicius (Gavrilkevich) married into the family and became their son-in-law. The land at the time was not well looked after. B. Havrilkevicius was a graduate of the Agronomy School in England. Before World War II, there were: 2 barns, a cowshed, stables, a warehouse (called ‘magazinas’), a workshop for repairs of the wheels for carriages. There were 16 horses, each carriage had 4 horses.  There was 160 hectares of land. Havrilkevicius had two children, a girl, and a boy, called Romas (Romanas). Havrilkevičius himself moved to Vinkšnupiai from Vilkaviškis area (between Vilkaviškis and Naumiestis, called Vladislovavas before the World War I).

Before the war, Havrilkevicius planned to build brick houses for his peasants; according to J. Kavaliauskas, bricks were even purchased ready for construction.

In addition to the outbuildings, there was the Manor, built by Germans foremen before the World War I.

The narrator explained that Volskiene had outbuildings and administrative complex in Penkiniuose by Keturvalakiai. She gave away 80 acres of land, under the Russian authorities in 1840, to the peasants 10 acres each, so that it is not taken away by the authorities.

J. Kavaliauskas remembers that when the German-Polish war started, an elderly couple about 70 years old arrived from Poland to the Vinkšnupiai Manor. It may well have been parents of Jeruzelksi’s, but this cannot be proved. In 1940 Havrilkevičius was forced out of the Manor by commissar Juozas Bačkauskas, and the buildings of the Manor were burned down.

After being forced out of their home, the Havrilkevicius family stayed in Alksnine (Kalvarija direction) with Arlus family. His Mother-in-law-Volskienė also lived with them. Volskiene died in Poland, and Volskis was buried in the basement of Alksnine Church. 4 coffins were confirmed to be seen there. Havrilkevicius was taken to Siberia from Alksnine in 1941. He allegedly stated that he maintained 2 thousand hectares of land while living in Vinkšnupiai, and in Siberia 30 thousand hectares, as he was an agronomist.