[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Propaganda

rlyster at telusplanet.net rlyster at telusplanet.net
Sun Dec 24 09:37:18 PST 2006

I recently read the captions of pictures published in "Der Treck Der 
Volksdeutschen aus Wolhynien, Galizien und Dem Narew-Gebiet" (published 1943) 
and "135,000 Gewannen das Vaterland" (1940).  I have not read the booklets yet 
especially the second will require some study with the old script.

Anyway, I then read the captions to my mother (who is blind) and we discussed 
this with her real life experiences of the process.  The photos show smiling 
faces and a gate with "welcome banner".  I interpret the gist of the story as 
a "propaganda" opportunity of the Nazi's welcoming home these people with 
other place to go.  However I think the underestimated the response and were 
then not able to deal with the volume of people who answered the call to 
return to the Vaterland.  My Mom says many got sick in the camps and died.  
Most who went to hospital never returned.  Horses were taken away and given to 
the war effort or butchered for food.  Food that the refugees packed was taken 
to the collective kitchen however never seemed to make it's was to the eating 
table.  Farm produce, slaughtered poultry brought along must have been taken 
away.  They were fed "ein topf" with everything cooked in one pot which was 
foriegn to them and at first difficult to stomach however later when you are 
hungry, you just eat.  

My Mom says there was no welcome banner.  And although they were ethnic 
German, they still were tagged as "Polacken" and didnot receive this open arms 

When they were finally resettled, they realized there would be potential 
trouble in the future as the farms they were given were vacated just hours 
before by the Polish who were given just an hour to take their belongings, be 
loaded on a truck and shipped out.  In some instances, bread was rising, ready 
for the oven.  No wonder the treatment that was received in 1945 when the 
Germans left and then had to come back because there was no place to go 
however now the Poles were back in charge and these Germans paid the price!

Very interesting what the books say and how the experience really was!

Season's greetings to everyone out there....May 2007 bring you all you wish 

Rita Lyster

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