[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] History book - Gustav and Ida Abram

Michelle Bakke-Purnell wldrose at telusplanet.net
Wed Feb 26 13:15:48 PST 2003

Sorry hit the send on the other one.
Taken from the Endiang History book:
This one is quite long.  Sorry yet it is such a good story that I'm 
going to put most of it in.

Gustav and Ida Abram
Both Gustav (Gust) and Ida Abram were born in German-speaking 
communities inside Russian-held territories.  They migrated sparately to 
Canada, where they met, married and raised their family.

Gust Abram was born Jan 22, 1894 to Christian and Mathilda Abram. 
 Christian's brother, Ed Abram, was living in Canada on a farm at 
Endiang, Alberta which he had homesteaded in 1908.  In the spring of 
1913 Gust, at the age of 19 years, decided he would like to follow his 
uncle and aunt, Ed and Julia, to Canada.

However, the Russians did not want to let boys of Gust's age leave the 
country, therefore the only way for him to leave was to sneak out. 
 There were people, who for money, would smuggle people across the 
border.  Gust and five other young people got acquainted with a man who 
would be their leader for 25 rubles.  He took them to a farm near the 
border, let them off in a rye field, and continued on to the farmyard 
where he acted as a visitor.  Too any people in the yard would attract 
attention.  The night before the soldiers had caught a bunch of people 
trying to escape so there were extra horse riders watching the border. 
 That evening their leader joined them and they spent the night in the 
rye field.  The leader had contacts with one of the soldiers who would 
assist them, but they would have to wait until morning when the riders 
had gone away.  Just as beams of daylight appeared they heard a whistle 
and the leader quickly ordered them to follow him.  He lead them to the 
border where the soldier was waiting, they paid them, and were told to 
run across the border into the rye field on the other side.  "If a 
soldier spots you he will shoot into the air and if you don't stop, he 
shoots three times, and if you still don't stop he will give you a 
bullet,"  they were told.  Gust and his companions ran a long way to 
higher ground undetected.  They stopped and looked back, it was daylight 
enough that they could see soldiers walking back and forth with guns on 
their shoulders.  They took a long, lasting look at something they were 
leaving forever.

The leader had given them directions to a little town where they could 
catch a train to Moslovich.  There they were to go to the Mistler agent, 
which was the boat line they were to take.  Their ticket would take them 
all the way through to Winnipeg.

They crossed the ocean, eventually landing in Quebec, then onto Winnipeg 
by train.  Gust found Canada to be very large and had considerable 
difficulty finding people who could direct him to Endiang.  By the time 
Gust found out where Endiang was, another thousand miles down the road, 
he had missed the train and had to purchase new tickets.  He managed to 
buy an immigration ticket for $10.00, a regular ticket would have cost 
$40.00, but he had to wait another 25 hours for the next train in that 
direction.  He travelled to Calgary where he changed trains for Stettler.

In Stettler, Gust looked for someone who could speak German, as he could 
not speak English.  Eventually he was taken to John Steinbrecker, who 
knew of his uncle and had a homestead in the neighborhood.  John told 
Gust it was about 60 miles to his uncle Ed's farm.  Gust set out on foot 
across country towards Endiang.  At the end of the day he was still four 
or five miles away when he spotted the dim light of a farmhouse.  He had 
supper and spent the night there.  In the morning the farmer pointed the 
direction to Endiang, but when Gust got to the store and post office 
nobody could speak German.  Luckily Mr. Bauman came along, who could 
speak German, and he and the storekeeper directed Gust to his uncle's 
farm.  As Gust walked along a man with a team of horses and wagon came 
along and said, "Wilst mit fahren?" Gust was quite shocked and excited 
that the man knew of him.  The man was a Boehlke and a neighbor of Ed Abram.

Gust spent the first year with his Uncle Ed, Aunt Julia and cousin 
Adolph in a one-room shack.  Later Gust looked for his own homestead. 
 Two months on the homestead and then World War 1 broke out.  Gust lost 
contact with his relatives back home.

Info of Ida Rausch - The Rausch family came to Canada from the Odessa 
area of Russia in 1912.  Ida's father had been conscripted to fight in 
the Russian-Japanese war of 1905.  This was counter to all the promises 
made to the German people inside Russia, and mother Rausch was 
determined to get her family away from any future conscription.  Canada 
was calling for immigrants, so the Rausch family responded.  Sight 
unseen, they took up a homestead in the remote and barren region of 
southwestern Saskatchewan.

After the war, Gust found out that his family was in Germany.  His folks 
wanted to come to Canada too, so Gust helped them get to Canada.
(There is still alot more to this story)

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