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

Nelson Itterman colnels at telus.net
Sat Apr 22 15:32:13 PDT 2006

This discussion has turned from Migration of people - Germans to Volhynia =
to = Migration of people - Germans to the West - Germany - Canada etc. 
It was obvious why they wanted out of Russia. They had survived Stalin's
forced famine, Communist Controlled Collective Farms where starvation was
very real.
Karl Krueger was interested in reasons for people to escape Communist
Controlled Germany and found that even though they had escaped into NATO
controlled territory they were still not safe. I'm told that General
Eisenhower took the view that a german was a german even if they were
refugees out of Russia. When the Russians reviewed the list of people in US
NATO controlled camps, these refugees from Russia were turned over without
question. These refugees went straight to Siberia. (I know of 4 direct
relatives (families) that faced this ordeal) I'm also told that in British
controlled camps, the refugees were asked if they wanted to be returned
before they were turned over.
If they were fortunate enough to be in West Germany there was the stigma
that Doris talked about, that of being a "Volks Deutsche" and ethnic german
who seemed to think he was more german than those born in Germany. These
relatives of ours did not have any easy time. 
There are many stories to be told, like one cousin who was on the train to
Siberia with family in box cars when the train stopped in the wilderness,
they were told to get off.  The men went looking for some place where they
could survive, came upon an old lumber camp where the buildings still had
roofs and walls, and that was where they lived that winter. The building had
large round cast iron stoves which had been left behind. They had been made
in England. I believe they came upon a camp where the British Navy had been
lumbering for tall straight Pine Trees to use in ship construction. This
cousin told me that when they started heating the building, the bed bugs
fell out of the rafter to keep them company.
He and others of his family were some of the Volks Deutsche that were
invited back to Germany from Siberia.

This should keep the discussion going some more.

-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2006 1:03 PM
To: Karl Krueger
Cc: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Migrations of people--Germans to Wohlynia

On 17-Apr-06, at 11:34 AM, Karl Krueger wrote:

> Rita,
>   I am particularly interested.. ...  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.
Actually I believe that lack of housing in west Germany contributed 
hugely to emigration after WW.II.  In the case of my family, my Dad had 
recieved training as a bricklayer and always had work.  If we had had a 
decent place to live my mom would not have agreed to leave.  This was 
in 1955.  The same was true for other family members who left as early 
as1952.  Another huge factor was that Germany was not home.  I was a 
little girl when we left but I remember a mom hauling her kid away from 
me in a playground sandbox, saying  " Mit Polacken spielen wir 
nicht"(We don't play with Polacks).  Neighbors also pointed and talked 
because mom was pregnant with her third child.  There was much 
predjudice against Fluechtlinge (refugees) even in church.  Many 
Germans felt that refugees were to blame for lack of housing and they 
should just have stayed where they were.  This sentiment was of course 
not  shared by all or even most Germans,  but it's hard to live where 
even a minority feels this way.  The alternative was to go to Canada 
and be with friends and family many of whom had also come from 
Wolhynian at some time.  Many were sponsered by an agreement with the 
NAB churches to bring in families for farm work.  The culture was 
familiar---German Baptist  in a foreign country. You  could travel to 
many other communities in several provinces and states  and find a 
familiar culture and familiar names and faces.
Doris Chalifoux

>   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
> _______________________________________________
> Ger-Poland-Volhynia Mailing List hosted by
> Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe http://www.sggee.org
> Mailing list info at http://www.sggee.org/listserv
> _______________________________________________
> Ger-Poland-Volhynia Mailing List hosted by
> Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe http://www.sggee.org
> Mailing list info at http://www.sggee.org/listserv
> ---------------------------------
> Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. PC-to-Phone calls for ridiculously low 
> rates.
> _______________________________________________
> Ger-Poland-Volhynia Mailing List hosted by
> Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe http://www.sggee.org
> Mailing list info at http://www.sggee.org/listserv

Ger-Poland-Volhynia Mailing List hosted by
Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe http://www.sggee.org
Mailing list info at http://www.sggee.org/listserv

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list