[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Re: Deportation of Germans to Siberia

Richard A. Stein ra_stein at telus.net
Thu Mar 24 08:55:33 PST 2005

I have information about deportation of three different families.
1. My great aunt, Emma born Schmidtke, and her family lived in Gotowka, a
few km northeast of Chelm, Poland.  They were sent by train to Kustenai, now
in the northwest corner of Kazahkstan.  Along with two other families, the
Schmidtkes were dropped into a small Russian village.  The villagers gave
them some aid but had little to offer.  Emma's older sisters were able to
find some work in the town of Troitsk.  They returned ot Poland in 1918 to
find their farmyard destroyed.  Emma's father had been forced to transport
materials by horse and wagon for the Russian army.  His health was broken
from having to sleep outdoors and he died soon after returning to Gotowka.
Emma is still alive at 98 and talks of the horrible filth and crowding on
the trains and the many people who died on the way.
2.  My great grandparents Stein lived in Antonowka, midway between
Wladimir-Wolynski and Lutsk in Volhynia.  I discovered from the EWZ document
of a daughter's family that they had been sent to Omsk where two of her
children were born in 1919 and 1921.  The third child was born back in
Antonowka in 1923, indicating that they had been unable to return until
about 1922.  Great grandfather and his youngest child both died during the
deporation.  There were some German settlements in the Omsk area and I
wonder whether the Stein family was able to connect with any of those
3.  The Ludwig Boelter family was sent from Pawlow (near Torczyn, northwest
of Lutsk, Volhynia) to Charkow in Eastern Ukraine.  Reportedly, people sent
to Charkow and other places in Ukraine were luckier than those sent to
Siberia.  Ludwig died in Charkow in December 1915, but the family was able
to return to Pawlow about 1918.  This information is also from EWZ records.

Dick Stein

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Krueger" <dabookk54 at yahoo.com>
To: "Gilda J. Patterson" <gilda.patterson at shaw.ca>;
<ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 6:41 AM
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Re: Deportation of Germans to Siberia

> Gilda - It seems virtually all we know about the deportation of WW I is
from stories collected from those who experienced it as your grandparents
passed this down to you. I have tried to feed Dick Benert any info and
stories as he seems to have become our unofficial deportation expert in this
field. My grandmother told my aunt similar stories. You can just imagine the
frustration and despair your grandmother felt as they were forced from their
farm months before the harvest could be made.
> By way of clarification, I should say that if your family lived in present
day Poland their farm may have simply been destroyed by the war. My father
remembers as a boy returning after the war and having to completely rebuild
the farm. He said literally nothing was left standing in this region near
> The lists you heard about on this thread were further east near Zhitomir.
That was likely something compiled in this region and not generally applied
to all regions where Germans were deported. I find it interesting that your
grandmother was by Stalingrad as I have not seen that location yet among the
many reported in EWZ records. Generally it seems most Germans were
transported along a train route further north passing through Samara and
Saratov and going further east towards northern Kazakhstan.
> "Gilda J. Patterson" <gilda.patterson at shaw.ca> wrote:
> I find this discussion of the deportation of Germans to Siberia very
> interesting as I have my own questions regarding my grandparents's
> experience. They were deported from their home (Rydzyno), Kingdom of
> Russia around 1914, my grandmother might've been pregnant with her first
> (already had one daughter aged 1 1/2), the son was subsequently born Nov
> 1915 in Sarepta (changed to Stalingrad, currently Volgogrod), Russia; and
> grandfather was imprisoned for a time. They do not appear on the list.
> The Story: My grandparents were removed from their home, had 24-hours to
> take simple belongings, travelled by train, (my grandmother was so angry
> kicked a pee bucket that was in the middle of the train & it hit my eldest
> aunt in the forhead accidently, whereby she had a slight forehead scar and
> had to wear bangs). Grandmother gave birth to her first son there, then
> had one more child, a daughter born there, who died of small pox at age 10
> months, buried in Sarepta. Grandfather's conditions in the prison were so
> poor, that he said he had to eat soup with worms in it. (I believe that
> was due to the meat). He was eventually released, and when they returned
> their home, all their land and possessions were gone (expropriated I
> & grandfather wanted to do away with himself. Thank goodness he didn't,
> my mother was born there. They immigrated to Canada in 1927 (word is
> of the pogroms). I know there were quite a few various pogroms taking
> from various factions, but not sure what these were.
> Is anyone aware of this area Sarepta - Stalingrad - Volgogrod? And the
> deportations that took place to that area?
> It is so exciting to research these possibilities. But I love facts, and
> find them hard to obtain without a lot of effort. Thank you for your
> Gilda Patterson
> Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
> ---------------------------------
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