[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Deportations

E Sonnenburg esonnenburg at porchlight.ca
Fri Jul 9 16:04:28 PDT 2004

Many of the German people that were deported never arrived at their final
destination.  When on the move during the day they weren't allowed to stop.
If someone died they were buried at the side of the road.  Probably
impossible to find those spots today.   When the Germans drove by some
Mennonite villages they asked for water etc.  But the Mennonites didn't want
to be seen as collaborators with the deportees and refused to give them
things.   Later on the Mennonites got deported as well.   My grandmother's
family didn't get quite as far into Siberia as others because the children
were sick and stopped at a Russian house.  They asked
to stay in a small room.   When the Russians saw the sick child from the
cold they took it to a hothouse or sauna which
was common in Russia.  The child got well.  They were then told to move
upstairs and had fair accommodations.  They
got permission to stay in that town since they heard othe Germans that got
further into Siberia were having a tough time.

Overall the Russians weren't hostile to the Germans since the Russians were
told they had to accommodate the Germans
that came into their area.  Many men got work and made a living for their
families from 1915-1917.
Once the Czar and his family were killed the Germans got permission to go
back to Volhynia.  Many left and were home
in several weeks.   But what they came back wasn't always good.   When the
Germans vacated their houses in 1915
Galatian refugees moved in.  When the Germans came back they had to force
these people to leave which they didn't want to do.  These Galatians didn't
do anything on the land or property.  When they needed firewood they sawed
the logs from the barns and floors of the houses.  Many Germans had to start
over completely when they returned.   Some Germans didn't return until the
spring of 1918 and the train ride took over 2 months because of poor train
connections and waiting times.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Evert Moes" <ya895 at victoria.tc.ca>
To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 11:36 AM
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Deportations

> Hello list,
> I have been following the "Deportation" subject with interest, as I have
> "lost" three families in Berdichev after 1910.  All were Lutheran.
> Descendents of one turns up in the EWZ files.  Their names are Focht
> (Fokht), Rauh and Seltmann.  Regarding other deportations, a correspondent
> in Bialystok (Eastern Poland) told me that all German settlers were
> to the Vitebsk area (Now Belarus) in 1915, while much of their property
> destroyed, particularly factories and warehouses
> The story is that few if any ever returned to the area.
> Evert Moes
> Sidney, B.C.
> Canada
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