Introductions: Ethel Keuer

Ethel Keuer, a short introduction about her life in Pittsford, Webster, and getting kicked out of Sunset House.

Our condolences to her children on her recent passing.

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Life Stories Archive – Helen Rice


Helen turned 101 this year.  She talks about her life growing up on the farm outside of a small city in upstate New York, the school teacher living with them, the chores on the farm, her father and mother, the dressmaker, the teen years and dichotomy between the city girls and the country girls, becoming a teacher then a school librarian, then the first woman deputy superintendent of school curriculum in Irondequoit.

LIFE STORIES Archive: Topper-Pylyshenko #2

Irma continues about Die Flucht as a child, the defeat of Germany and life in the Russian zone and then the American zone, the years after and her father’s death, but then seemingly miraculous returns of her aunt and grandfather who both had been thought killed in the war,  and then coming to the U.S.  Her life in the U.S., working at Jewish centers, her dance and teaching career, marriage and family.  Irma describes photographs of her family from 1910 to present.

LIFE STORIES Archive Topper-Pylyshenko

Topper-Pylyshenko, Irma
Irma talks about Die Flucht. She was 6 years old when her family along with millions of other German families fled in cattle cars from Poland near Gdansk/Danzig to the interior of Germany. Her family narrowly escapes the fire bombing of Dresden and the bombing of Leipzig. 14 Million German refugees. She tells a little about her life in Poland before WWII and how her family came to be relocated there. She tells about fleeing the Soviets, being bombed and strafed by the British, living in the Russian Zone and escaping into the American Zone, and eventually coming to the U.S.

LIFE STORIES Archive Pylyshenko 3

Mirko talks more about his expressionist art, teaching, human rights activism, charitable fund raising, traveling to Ukrainian Soviet Union and Moscow during the last years of the Cold War. His Ukrainian Rochester Collection is moved from Brockport University to a permanent home at the University of Rochester. He retires as president of the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union. He starts his Ukrainian Library. He talks more about the 1964 race riots in NY. His first marriage and divorce. Eastern European celebrities entertaining and entertained at the Pylyshenko farm.

LIFE STORIES Archive Pylyshenko 2

Life Stories Archive
Pylyshenko, Wolodymyr “Mirko” #2
The second documentary of Mirko Pylyshenko. He talks about coming to the U.S. at age 15, what the Ukrainian community in New York was like, his first jobs, lifeguarding, his art, teaching, human rights activism and traveling to the Ukraine each year during the Cold War and then during Glasnost and after the fall of the Soviet Union. Many artists of all types from the Ukraine and the Eastern Block countries during the Cold War visited his farm. Also the president of the newly independent country of Ukraine in the early nineties visited. He talks about his difficulties with both the KGB and the CIA & FBI, once having to flee into Finland from Ukraine. With Glasnost and then the fall of the Soviet Union, he becomes recognized for his human rights efforts by both the outgoing president Carter and incoming president Reagan.