[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Migrations of people--Germans to Wohlynia

rlyster at telusplanet.net rlyster at telusplanet.net
Tue Apr 18 20:42:39 PDT 2006

Thank you Karl and John,
  My family were some of these fortunate or unfortunate souls to make these 
journey's.  My mother was widowed (soldier husband) and lived for several 
years under the Polish citizens who reclaimed their Warthegau land.  By shear 
determination and the grace of God, she and her children escaped first to East 
Germany and then to West Germany and finally to Canada where they were 
sponsored by her father-in-law who had arrived in 1929.  My father was a POW 
in Russia and was finally released in December 1949.  He found my mother 
through the Red Cross (he is a brother of her first husband) and through that 
connection found he still had a family somewhere in the world.  He too came to 
Canada under the sponsorship of his father.  
  My paternal grandparents were deported to Siberia before the first war, 
grandfather from Mydzk and grandmother from Eschental (near the Black Sea).  
They met and married in Siberia and lost 3 children on the trek back to Mydzk 
in the 1922.  In 1929 my grandfather was lured by the promise of inexpensive 
land in Canada.  Unfortunately he never accummulated enough wealth to send for 
his wife and 7 children.  By the time the war was over, only 3 children 
remained who finally joined him in Canada in 48, 49 and 50.  
  I could never find reference to Warthegau and now it makes sense why not.  
Thankyou for helping me locate where this was.

Rita Lyster  

Quoting Karl Krueger <dabookk54 at yahoo.com>:

> Rita,
>   I am particularly interested why you used the term Warthegau. This name is
> normally used in refering to the region where many Germans were resettled at
> the outset of World War II. As the Nazis took over new territory in eastern
> Europe, they would determine the ethnic backgrounds of everyone. Those of
> German ancestry were made German citizens and brought further west to
> reoccupy land around the Warthe river - land that was part of Prussia taken
> from Germany after WW I. Hitler's intention was to reclaim this fertile land
> as part of Germany and settle it with Germans again (removing the Poles). The
> office established to accomplish this resettlement was called
> Einwandererzentrallstelle or EWZ as you will discussed often on this
> listserve. In this way Hitler would keep his prize Germans under safe
> protection as much animosity was rising against Germans in other countries
> because of his aggression. What is inconsistent with your query is that no
> Germans living in Siberia would
>  have been considered under this plan since the Nazis never reached that far.
> However, most Germans from Poland and Russia did spend time in Siberia during
> World War I because of the deportation. Most returned to their homes (if they
> survived) in the period of 1918-1923.
>   So if you are asking why they moved to Warthegau in the early 1940s, then
> that is the reason why - they essentially had no choice, and for Germans,
> things would turn out better for them if they did resettle. Why then did they
> leave for Germany? Toward the end of the war in the winter of 1945 the
> Russians troops were driving the German troops back. The retreating German
> soldiers were telling all the Germans they came across of the devastation
> that was about to happen. So most Germans immediately left everything they
> had except for what they could carry and just headed westward to stay ahead
> of the oncoming Russians. Many Germans who did not make it out in time
> suffered terrible fates at the hands of the Russians. Those who were most
> fortunate were able to get out of communist controlled German territory into
> West Germany.
>   Why did they leave for North America? Think of what kind of circumstances
> you would be under trying to make a living. You would have been fortunate
> enough to make it out to West Germany but, 1) you had no land (most of these
> explanted Germans were farmers), 2) jobs were scarce since the war destroyed
> so much of the infrastructure in Germany, 3) living conditions were terrible
> at this time yet you had to provide for a family. The US and Canada in
> particular really held the best opportunity to still make a decent living in
> their life so that promise was a good enticement to leave Europe.
>   I am simply a beneficiary of this history (I was born here in the US). My
> parents went through all this along with many relatives and family friends.
> If your family history is similar, I hope this gives you a better perspective
> of the struggles these Germans went through and their fortitude to survive
> under extreme trials. I have really only spoken about those who experienced
> the war. Those who were fortunate to move to North America before the war
> avoided these harsh trials.
>   gpvjem <gpvjem at sasktel.net> wrote:
>   Rita:
> Since you are a SGGEE member you have access to all the quarterly Journals
> published by SGGEE since it's inception 8 years ago.
> In particular, I would like to draw your attention to an excellent article
> (in 2 parts) that Jerry Frank contributed to the SGGEE Journal in the
> December 2001 and January 2002 issues. The article is entitled "Drang nach
> Osten" The German Migration to the East. 
> No doubt Jerry will provide you with additional insight when he has the
> opportunity, but the article referred to above will give you a very good
> start in your quest for migration information
> In the 30 some odd Journals published to date, there are many more
> informative article to be found dealing with migration of Germans to the
> Poland and Volhynia. A list of contents can be found inside the front cover
> of each issue
> John Marsch
> -----------------------------------------------
> From: rlyster at telusplanet.net 
> To: Jerry Frank 
> Cc: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org 
> Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 12:53 PM
> Hi Jerry,
> You seem well informed of many historical things. And you made reference 
> that Catherine the Great was not responsible for German immigration to Russia
> except for Volga Germans. Do you then know another reason? I am very 
> interested in understanding this. Can you recommend some reading?
> Also have you any more information about resettlement issues due to WWII and
> why these things happened?
> I am trying to understand the movement of relatives from Wohlynia to Siberia
> to Warthegau and finally to Germany and then to Canada. Also what was the 
> impulse that had these folks also come to "America" in the early 1900's (my 
> grandfather Ritz came for a couple of years and then went back).
> I would be very greatful for any information or links to information that 
> you could supply.
> Rita Lyster
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