Beautiful Creatures

Staff Writer

These are books, much like Beautiful Creatures, courtesy of Katie Hutchinson.

These are books, much like Beautiful Creatures, courtesy of Katie Hutchinson.

Read the entire Twilight Saga but crave more mythical teen romance? The newly released film based off the novel, “Beautiful Creatures” is a great book/movie you can consider. It consists of all the mushy gushy reading you yearn for and has a movie you can compare with, and we all know how much better the movies are rather than the books. The movie was recently released on Valentine’s day of this year. Who would’ve thought?

“Beautiful Creatures” takes place in a small town, Gatlin, South Carolina. Hmm sounds familiar didn’t Twilight take place in a small town in Washington? Let’s see if any other comparisons pop out of nowhere. In this new upcoming film/book one of the major characters happens to be a girl who then falls in love with this guy and they end up having trouble staying together because their relationship is affected by some magical issue. Blah blah blah. See any connections here? Honestly this movie is the exact same as Twilight, the only difference I’ve noticed so far is that the girl character has a significant power rather than the guy such as “Edward”.

Maybe its just my taste but I wouldn’t spend ten dollars and fifty cents to see this book made into a movie not even at a matinee price. It just seems like this book is a supernatural romance copy cat of books that had been made before. The main character, Ethan Wate longs to leave his hometown until a new girl moves there, Lena Duchannes a girl who has to make an important decision of whether or not when she becomes a Caster (witches, don’t ask) if she will resort to the dark side or light. It’s up to Ethan to guide her down the road of a Light Caster.

Some people get extremely upset when someone claims “Beautiful creatures is Twilight with witches instead of vampires.” They defend the cheesiness of the dialogue and plot that has no fluidity to it whatsoever. If anything, this movie only moves Twilight up a ranking in supernatural romance movies for teens, it may even make Kristen Stewart look like a semi-decent actress. People are so done with the same romance magical stuff, it will always remain Team Jacob and Team Edward, what’s done is done. It’s time to stop building off already created stories and brainstorm on some new ones.

The Evolution of Facebook: Good or Bad?

Staff Writer

This is the Facebook website, courtesy of Lina Vang

This is the Facebook website, courtesy of Lina Vang

So with the new year, there comes change right? Yes, and to prove this very point, let us take a look at the social networking site of Facebook and its long-evolutionary journey. It is only the second month of the year so far, and recently just last month, Facebook introduced a new search tool, known as “Graph Search”, along its Facebook empire.

The gist of this new addition is that basically a person may search in their search bar an inquiry they would like to know about their friends. For example, “Friends who like nature”, or even “Friends who like bizarre food”, and then a series of postings, check-in’s and photos will conventionally come up. Also a viewable time capsule of photos can be seen from a certain time period, such as “Photos before 2000.” This seems pretty legit but may it be a little too much? Of course the content that appears is up to a person’s own privacy on it, but is it really necessary for a built-in filter to virtually depict every aspect of one’s social-network life.

Moreover, besides the latest facebook gadget, in late 2011, “Facebook Timeline” was established and it was a whole new recreation and outlook to your profile. Pin-pointing the highlights of your social-life, the Timeline layout was a timeline within itself, showcasing your life in a whole new course. And let’s not forget when the side ticker came about. Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get any more creepier, it became the epitome of ultimate creepiness.

Aside from the main central news found on the homepage of newsfeed, a side tool box in the upper right hand corner was unveiled. It revealed less minor news and stories of your friends actions and whereabouts. One could find the liking of various photos by a friend and another could see the spamming of comments to others. To begin with, it seemed a bit too much, to have your utmost privy activity displayed for all to see in an additional sidebar, when it also appeared on your profile, but eventually one got used to it.

Whether it’s the ability of liking pages, subscribing to others, video chatting, writing on each other’s “wall”, playing the latest games/apps and many more, Facebook has indeed come a long way. First only for the use of Harvard students to acknowledge one another, the site launched in February of 2004 and it wasn’t until a few years later that it would be expanded worldwide.

The empire of Facebook has now come to consume 1 billion people and is gaining more and more each day. Through the years, its users have witnessed the utmost expansion and change that may come and with that, the next transformation to come can be expected to be grand, questionable and evolutionary.

Local and all natural foods

Assistant Editor


This is one of the various local foods which can be purchased by consumers, courtesy of Bailee Oliva.

This is one of the various local foods which can be purchased by consumers, courtesy of Bailee Oliva.

Everyone always wants to know new ways to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle, but they often end up finding themselves in a supplement store to keep up with their daily vitamins. The problem is that the excessive intake of these supplements can become dangerous to our bodies. For example, large amounts of vitamin E supplements can lead to prostate cancer, and sometimes the vitamins can be spiked with prescription drugs. The bottom line is that if you want to be healthy then it is best to stay away from a high amount of supplements and vitamins, and start leaning towards organic foods. You can easily find all natural foods locally.
There is always a way to gain access to organic and fresh products and as well as alternative choices to foods filled with additives. Having an agriculture based economy, The Valley has numerous options open to everyone. And, if you happen to find yourself in Clovis or Fresno, you can mosey on over to one of the most popular organic grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, where they buy all of their products directly from suppliers. But just to name a few places to shop here in Tulare County there is Blain Farms, Watson’s Health Food Store, Rosa Brothers Milk Company, and our recurring Farmer’s Market.
Blain Farms is a company that grows, processes, packages, sells, and exports a wide variety of walnuts, pecans, and other delicious types of nuts. This company is branched off of Atlas World Food and Agriculture. You can find a supplier on 2140 East Caldwell Avenue here in Visalia.
Another local company is the Rosa Brothers Milk Company that is a family owned dairy that produces some of the freshest, most wholesome, and natural milk available to Tulare County. They sell many different types of milk (including their odd root beer flavored milk), ice cream, cheese, and more. They also sell their milk in glass bottles that you are able to keep, reuse, and refill whenever you please. Best of all, their cows are not given any growth hormones and are some of the healthiest within the community. You can find their products at Best Buy Market, Glicks Meat Market, BL Quality Meats, and Le Boulevard in town.  Or if you are willing to drive a few extra minutes, you can stop by one of the places where they produce the milk at Rosa Brothers Milk Company on 2400 South K Street in Tulare.
If you don’t want to be limited to just nuts and milk, then you can go down Main Street to find Watson’s Health Food Store. Their produce garden is always stocked with seasonal vegetables and fruits. They also have what they call their “Garden Menu” where you can buy freshly made soups, veggie burgers, drinks, salads, and more. They have been in business for over fifty years and continue to tend to anyone looking for an all natural diet.
The Farmer’s Market is very well known in Visalia, and is also very popular. The market supports local farmers while providing citizens with high quality fruits and vegetables that will make your tastebuds go insane. In Downtown Tulare, The Farmer’s Market happens May through October every Tuesday during the evenings. Visalia offers it Downtown March through October every Thursday from 5 to 8 PM, and the year round market happens every Saturday morning in the Sears parking lot.
One of the great things about finding items locally is that you support the town’s small businesses and help the community grow into something much more grand. Buying from these companies allows you to know exactly where your food is coming from, and you are also supporting The Valley’s greatest base of its economy, farming. And, because you will be buying directly from the source, the cost of the middleman will be cut out. The locality of organic foods preserves the open space needed for our resources and supports a cleaner environment by lessening the carbon footprint that is caused by big industries transporting of goods. When you eat locally and organically you are not only helping better yourself, but also your community.

Wrestling out of Olympics

Tengiz Rustamkhanli
Staff Writer

Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in life and in olympics, but it is not going be an olympic sport after 2016. In a decision that surprised many, the International Olympic Committee kept the modern pentathlon but dropped wrestling from list of 25 core sports.

“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”

Past Olympic Greco-Roman champion Khasan Baroev of Russia called the decision “mind-boggling.”

Wrestling was one of nine sports featured in the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896; it was also part of ancient Olympics.

But an interesting and surprising idea from IOC shocked probably a lot of people and countries. This sport is not a weird sport for American history. American have won 124 medals in olympics by wrestling.
An official statement wasn’t issued about the reasoning for eliminating wrestling — the
board said it wasn’t about the sport but about “what is best for the Olympics.”
A lot people think that wrestling has always been part of the Olympics and it needs to be. It’s known as the oldest sport known to man, with a evidence going back to ancient cave drawings. It was included in the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, and has been included since the modern Olympics were started in 1896.
The board voted that when they were reviewing a report by the IOC program there were 39 criteria for this news. Like, TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping agency, global participation and popularity. The final decision made by the 15 people that works for IOC.

According to IOC documents, wrestling ranked “low” for several reasons, including popularity at the public in London Olympic Games-5 on a scale of 10. Wrestling sold 113,851 tickets in London out of 116,854.

Also it is ranked “low” in global TV audience with a maximum of 58.5 million viewers. Internet and press coverage and hits also ranked as low. They also said that FILA– the international wrestling federation– has no any athletes that makes decision-making bodies, no women’s commision, no ethnic rules for officials and no medical officials for every nation of team.
When wrestling was a huge shock around the news center, IOC officials exclaimed that golf and rugby would be joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio. So, wrestling athletes await an ideal change from IOC and are continually trying  their best to bring back the wrestling and fix this sport scandal.

State of the Union Recap

Opinions Editor

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…”

For 224 years, the President of the United States has given annual reports to Congress as to the state and future of our union. President Obama delivered his state of the union address to Congress and to the people of the United States February 12th, revealing the left-from-center agenda of his second term, and the steps his administration plans to take to meet this lengthy list of goals.


  • Deficit reduction/stop the sequester. “Sequester” is a term you will be hearing frequently in the weeks to come. It refers to a law Congress passed back in 2011, stating that if Democrats and Republicans could not agree on a method of deficit reduction, spending cuts worth about a trillion dollars would reign down in 2013, cutting funding for our military, education, clean energy initiatives, and medical innovations. Obama pleaded to Congress to stop the sequester, which he called “a really bad idea”, in favor of a “balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share”.
  • Tax reform. In the effort to reduce the national deficit, President Obama is calling for extensive tax reform. The first step would be to close tax loopholes which allow the wealthy to sidestep tax percentages and pay less than they really owe. Tax breaks would be given to businesses who create jobs and manufacture products in the United States, rather than those who outsource jobs to China and Mexico. It is a bipartisan agreement that a reform such as this could thoroughly reduce the deficit, and in the words of the President, “That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together”.
  • Gun control. The President and his colleagues in Washington have conjured comprehensive gun control legislation as a result of the Newtown massacre. These reforms will implement background checks – a move which eighty percent of Americans agree with – , create harsh laws against the resale of firearms, and reintroduce an assault weapons ban.
  • “…making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing”. Perhaps some of us remember the long since stale American Jobs Act – a piece of legislation the President introduced a year and a half ago, only to have portions of it passed through Congress. This time around, Obama is pushing Congress to approve the remaining provisions, boasting the opinions of economists who say “…it would create more than one million new jobs”. Recently, big names such as Ford and Apple have roped in their foreign manufacturing networks and are giving jobs back to Americans. The President proposes to “accelerate this trend” by creating as many as fifteen new “manufacturing hubs”, ran by businesses which partner with federal departments, which will produce high-tech products that keep pace with the growing technology of the modern age.
  • Clean energy. During the campaign, Obama made it clear that he is all for clean energy. He proposed allocating national revenue from natural gas obtained from American land into an Energy Security Trust which will work to wean our vehicles off of oil. Federal subsidies are also going to be offered to states which build more energy efficient buildings that effectively lower energy costs.
  • Improve infrastructure. “Fix-It-First” was proposed as a program which would put private citizens to work on structurally deficient public property such as bridges, schools, and pipelines. A Partnership to Rebuild America is going to be established to encourage private investment for these projects, so the responsibility of the bills does not belong to the taxpayers.
  • Education for all. President Obama proposed, in one of his more controversial statements, “…working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America”. He presented the argument in a very blunt manner, “Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. …students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job and form more stable families of their own”.
  • Improvements to the Higher Education Act, which will change the way institutions of higher education receive aid from the federal government. The proposal is to distribute financial aid to colleges that provide “the most bang for your educational buck” – essentially, the level of affordability and the quality of the education offered.
  • Immigration reform through tightened border security and a responsible path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
  • Raising the minimum wage to $9.00 to “match the price of living”.
  • Ending the war in Afghanistan by 2014. Afghan security forces have slowly been taking control of the situation in their own country, and as America’s role decreases and our troops come home, the war is expected to draw to a close by the end of next year.

Obama appealed to Congress to consider his propositions, asserting that “Each of these proposals deserves a vote”. At the same time, he conceded that no legislation will obliterate all of society’s problems, but also that “We were not sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, to expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government. We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day…”

Hitchcock Highlights: Vertigo

Features Editor

This is the movie poster for Vertigo.

This is the movie poster for Vertigo.

Alfred Hitchcock is the innovator of suspense and creator of the horror genre. His films, a total of over fifty, attracted the biggest names in acting, and to this day are still being remade and explored further and further. Recently a movie was even made about Alfred Hitchcock regarding the filming of Psycho, and that movie itself, which is the movie most often associated with Hitchcock, has had various sequels and has been drawn from to create many films, SNL shorts, and for general inspiration in general for the horror genre.

Vertigo is one of Hitchcock’s many amazing and acclaimed movies. James Stewart and Kim Novak star in this gripping thriller as John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson and Madeline Elster/Judy Barton, respectively. John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson, James Stewart’s character gradually becomes obsessed with Madeline Elster, Kim Novak’s character. Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective, who is now suffering from vertigo/acrophobia. He believes she is going insane, for she believes that a long dead ancestor is possessing her, and that in fact she is the reincarnation of said ancestor. Gavin Elster, Madeline’s husband, asks Ferguson to investigate her odd behavior. In his investigation, Ferguson saves her life, and begins to fall in deep and foreboding love with her. Then tragedy strikes, and the plot and mystique of the story thickens. Nothing in the past nor the present is the same as it appears and appeared, and Ferguson learns that all he thought was real is and was not; it was all a conspiratorial lie, one that will claim more than one life by the time the story and movie is done.

Vertigo is not simply a story about a man and a woman and a tragic occurrence; it is so much more. It is a story of love, and of betrayal, and of death and hate and vengeance. Circumstance is what brings the characters together, and yet it is also chance. Ferguson is the real victim in this tale, for his heart is what is broken and sewn together and broken yet again. His vertigo is his trial; it is his downfall; it is, seemingly, his ultimate weakness. Yet, without this weakness, the deception and wickedness of this story would not have been possible. The world would have been less worrisome and more full of light, for all would have been happier, for their hearts would not be so burdened. This movie is not a happy one, but it is a great one. It is one of Hitchcock’s finest, and it is a great example of his exemplary cinematic achievements.

Puppy Bowl

Noah Prill
Editor-in-chief/Puppy guy

S- Puppy Bowl

This photo was taken by Noah Prill.

On Sunday, February 3, big burly sweaty dudes weren’t the only ones rolling around a field trying to get their paws on a ball. A ball is given in the middle of the field for the cute little pups to play around with, and treats are also thrown for them to mess around with. Dogs score touchdowns on a 10 by 19 foot gridiron, bringing much cuteness along with them. Many watchers forego the actual Super Bowl in favor of the Puppy Bowl, which is arguably the correct choice. One event is filled with perseverance, determination, and athletic skill, while the other has Beyonce flailing around singing songs.

Speaking of half time shows, the Puppy Bowl’s choice for half time entertainment is arguably the greatest piece of television to ever be televised, the kitty halftime show. The kittens are given a vast sea of treats and toys to choose from, much to the viewer’s delight. There’s no singing, no dancing, no performances. Just pure kitten magic. It’s free of all judgment and evil, and the last true beacon of hope in all of current television.

Although it’s the last great piece of art ever to be created by humans, it isn’t free of competition. Much surprise came to watchers of the cuteness when Marta, the winner of the Puppy Bowl, won the MVP spot. While Marta may not be the biggest in size, she’s certainly the biggest in heart. A cute little white puppy dominating the field, who could ever imagine it! The puppy bowl is the best, and every year it gets better than before. This year proves that, and hopefully next year’s Puppy Bowl rules too.

Resignation of the Pope

Resignition of Pope, Avang
Staff writer

Roman Catholic is a religion that has 1.2 billion followers worldwide. It is one of the most influential and most practiced religions in the world. On February 11, 2013, the Pope shocked the world by announcing his resignation. With so many followers around the world, it  brings questions, as to why he decided to resign now and who is going to replace him? According to CNN, the Pope is set to resign at the end of this February. Who exactly is the Pope and what does he do? Why is he resigning and who is going to replace him?

The Pope is the leader of the Roman Catholic church. His name is Joseph Ratzinger, and resides in Rome, Italy and is given control of the whole religion. He is considered to be an influential world leader for the Roman Catholic religion and the religion is practiced by a little over 1 billion of the world’s population. The Roman Catholic Church elected Ratzinger also known as Pope Benedict to take lead in 2005. Information on the Vatican’s stated that Ratzinger was born in Germany on April 16, 1927. He grew up during World War II where he saw the injustice doings of the Nazi’s. This one movement led him onto the path of following the ways of the Church where he later became Pope in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. And now, finally after just about just 8 years, he has decided to resign. Why so sudden?

It was revealed on CNN why the Pope has to step down, “my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” CNN later asked one of the members of the Vatican, the Vatican’s spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi for further explanation, and he replied that there is no specific disease that the Pope has but “it’s all to do with deterioration and weakness in his body.” He is designated to resign on February 28, 2013 around 8 pm Rome time. With the resignation of the Pope, who is to replace him?

As the interview with Rev. Lombardi continues, he is asked how the Church is going to select a new Pope. There has not been a Pope resignation in more than 600 years, so the procedure will be new to those of the church members who are unfamiliar with how re-election works . Rev. Lombardi states that there will be a meeting set soon to decide the fate of the next Pope. He later goes on to say that the voting course involves the members of the Church starting with a meeting in the morning, then the election in the afternoon. During the selection process the members of the Church will have to write down names of individuals who they think is best fitted to be the new Pope. If there is no winner, the ballots will be burned with a chemical that produces black smoke from the Vatican’s roof to signify that there is no consensus. Subsequently, they will go back to re-voting. Once consensus has been reached, the ballots will be burned alone with no chemical to produce a white smoke that will signify the election of a new Pope.

The election of a new pope is a tedious and a difficult process, even the resignation of the Pope is a difficult one. Ratzinger has stated himself that in his current state, he is no longer able to continue leading the Roman Catholics. Ratzinger grew up during the Nazi’s reign in Europe to being the Pope of 1.2 billion followers. Whether his followers believe his announcement for resignation is justified, the Pope is resigning. So who will the new Pope be? The world is waiting to find out.

Origin of Sadie Hawkins Dance

N-Origin of sadiesby Savanna Clevenger
Staff Writer

What makes Sadies so exciting to high schoolers is its uniqueness when compared to all other dances. We all know the one big thing that sets the Sadie Hawkins dance apart; girls asking the boys. This is, of course, fun and exciting and also very different than all of the other dances we offer. But who was it who thought of this out-of-the-norm idea, and why exactly did they want to?

Sadie Hawkins was inspired by a comic written by All Capp, called Lil Abner, on November 15, 1937. The strip was basedaround a day where unmarried women could choose a bachelor in hopes of finding someone to marry. Sadie Hawkins was the loneliest girl in town, and her father started this annual day for fear that she’d live at home with him for the rest of her, (and his) life. So he created Sadie Hawkins day, where they held a foot race where all unmarried girls could chase men around the town, resulting in matrimony with whomever they caught. All of the men dreaded the day for fear they’d get stuck with her, or any of the other maidens they didn’t like. Harsh, right?

Only two years after the release of the comic strip, (and all of the years to follow,) colleges and high schools all over the nation began holding “Sadie Hawkins Dances”, where it was the girl’s duty to ask a boy to be her date. Because the day became so popular, Capp continued to write about Sadie Hawkins and the foot race annual in his comic strip for a few years.
It may seem a little silly that an entire dance and event became so popular, especially when it derived from a comic book about girls who literally chase men around their town. The independent and capable feeling women got from getting to chose their own dates seemed to be completely empowering. Girls all across America adored the idea of picking their dance partner rather than feeling obligated to agree and go with the first boy who asked them.

In modern times, girls asking boys to do things like go to dances, date them, or even marry them are far from unheard of. Women are far more independent now than they were in the days of Capp. This doesn’t mean the dance is losing its appeal, however. Many girls are excited to have their turn to get creative with “dance asking” ideas, and many boys are happy that they can finally sit back and relax and be the one who gets the fun surprise for a change. Sadies gives many girls the golden opportunity they’ve been waiting for!

The Great War in my great-grandfathers’ fates.

Anna Anna Balysheva, Finalist of Program “FLEX” from Kazakhstan.

I devote this article to my great-grandfathers who fought in the World War I against each other.

        The World War I happened a long time ago that it almost does not excite us. However that is not the case. An example is my great-grandfathers’ history.
The document shows that my surname is Balysheva. However, in fact I had to bear the surname of  Balysh. This is my great-grandfather’s surname who is the World War I veteran. This war tragically changed his fate.

        From my loved grandfather on my father’s side I learned that his father (my great-grandfather) was an Austrian prisoner of war and had a surname Balysh. There was the World War I.

·   In 1915 a train with Austria-Hungarian prisoners of war who had been taken captive by Russian troops came to Kazakhstan, Kostanay city.

(Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war in Russia.)

·   They were located in citizens’ flats. Three Austrian prisoners of war were brought to live in a family and one of them was Balysh. The prisoners of war worked as hard as members of the family.

       There was still the World War I and in Russia a revolution happened. Due to this Russia dropped out of the war.

(Pictures of my great-grandmother Pelagia, who is married to an Austrian prisoner Balysh in 1921.)

(Pictures of

At first nobody in the country knew what to do with the prisoners of war. The family where the prisoner of war Balysh living liked him so much that a young Russian widow, Pelagea (my great-grandmother), was given in marriage to him.

   They liked this prisoner of war for his industry and decency. His surname Balysh was changed into Balyshev and his name Iohan into the name Ivan. He spoke Ukrainian as well as German. Balysh had five children  in Kazakhstan one of whom is my loved grandfather. Iohan Balysh died soon. His nationality and his native country remained a secret to his family. Only by this time our family began to look for information about him.

    In archives we succeeded in establishing that a huge amount of German and Austria-Hungarian prisoners of war arrived in Kazakhstan. They all were of different nationalities: Poles, Jews, Germans, Hungarians and others.

Genealogical forums on the Internet and digitized information from the newspapers from the World War I helped us to find information on my great-grandfather.

On the Internet we found lists of the wounded, died and captive soldiers of the Austria-Hungarian Army during the World War I. These are “Casualty lists” of the Austria-Hungarian Army.

Such “Casualty lists” were issued by War Office in Vienna. They came out periodically from the beginning of October 1914 to the end of 1918. In the newspaper about losses from December 28, 1915 we found a recording about our prisoner of war.

“Casualty lists”

“Cas. lists”

From this recording we knew that he was from Lvov region, the Ukraine. Now it was clear why he spoke and wrote Ukrainian.

    This area used to be called Galicia. Before the World War I Galicia was a part of The Austria-Hungarian Empire.

Austria-Hungary was the third biggest state in Europe (after The Russian and German Empires). In 1910 it had a population of over 49 Million. There was a big diversity of nationalities in Austria-Hungary: Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Croatians, Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, Slovenes and others.

(Map of Galicia, which was transferred to Poland after the agreement on the end of World War II.)

   (Map of Galicia,

My great-grandfather thereby was called up for the Austria-Hungarian Army as an Austrian citizen and had to be at war.

    Why didn’t my great-grandfather return to his native country after the war?

It is known that later authorities allowed the prisoners of war to leave for home.

     Everything what had happened to this man, his captivity was dramatically intertwined not only with the history of the World War I, but also with its results. At the end of the World War I after the break-up of Austria-Hungary his native country Galicia moved to Poland. Many people escaped in other countries.

My great-grandfather never saw his native country again. There was just nowhere to go and return. What a tragedy! On the territory of his country there was a brutal war.

(Russian soldiers in German captivity.)

(Russian soldi

     During the World War I about 8 Million people became prisoners of war.  Only the German Army captured nearly 2,5 Million. The Russian Army captured about three Million prisoners of war. In Russia, prisoners of war suffered from hunger. A huge amount of prisoners

taken by the Russian Army died.

     In my family I saw the World War I both from the Austria-Hungarian side and from the Russian side.

     On the one hand this is a history of my great-grandfather Balysh who being an Austria-Hungarian soldier was captured by the Russians and found himself in Kazakhstan. On the other hand my great-grandfather on my mother’s side Khlyschev Nikita Ivanovich who was a soldier in the Russian Army during the World War I. He also as my great-grandfather Balysh was captured but by the German troops. Being in German captivity he was working, too but unlike Balysh  he could return to his native country – to Russia from German captivity.

What a coincidence! My great-grandfathers Iohan Balysh and Nikita Khlyschev may have fought each other and shot each other on one front.

     My great-grandfathers survived in terrible times. They could be killed in the war, die by transportation to captivity, fall ill and die of bad food and hard work in captivity.

     I began to think about this and saw the scene of this war before me.  I saw people with their sufferings and troubles. I looked through some photos of prisoners of war on the Internet. I saw this war from the Russian and German sides.

On the one hand – my Austria-Hungarian great-grandfather Iohan Balysh .

This picture of

This picture of my great-grandfather did not survive Balysh. But it could look something like this. This is a photo of his son – my own grandfather Balysheva Victor in his youth. According to witnesses, they are very similar.

Photo of my greatOn the other hand – my Russian great-grandfather Khlyschev Nikita.


Photo of my great-great-grandfather Russian Hlyscheva Nikity in adulthood.


Both are exhausted and captured. And both are my ancestors.

could not be here without each of them. These are soldiers of that terrible war that is also called in the world the Great War. They are ones of the common people. These are simple men who are grain growers from century to century in peacetime but soldiers in war-time.


 They did not only survive but also grew many children due to intertwined fates and in spite of brutal time.

(This is my Russian great-grandfather Nikita hugs his great daughter and a strong arm – my dear and beloved Russian grandmother Luda. She is in the photo – a little girl.)

 (This is my Russian

Having learned the history of my great-grandfathers I understood how important to know the history of your family members because this is always a part of the history of your Motherland and the World.
Note: Some footage in the public domain and are taken from the website: