[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Propaganda

Dave Obee daveobee at shaw.ca
Tue Dec 26 12:15:08 PST 2006

This thread has evolved somewhat, and we run the risk of running together
different bits of history.

The original comment had to do with the transfer of people from Russian
Poland to German Poland after the invasion of 1939. This transfer was part
of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Documents to do with the transfer are in the
EWZ files. Many books about this event were published at the time in
Germany, and the generally celebrated (unjustifiably) what had taken place.
These books were part of the Nazi propaganda campaign, as I said a couple of
days ago.

After that came the great trek out of Russian Volhynia that started in late
1943. That movement came as the Wehrmacht was in retreat and the Reich was
collapsing. These people are also in the EWZ files. I have yet to find any
contemporary books on that trek, although certainly it has been mentioned in
several published in recent years.

When dealing with these two forced migrations, it is always important to
note the starting point and the time frame.

With the fall of Germany, countless horrors were visited upon the Germans,
especially those who found themselves in Soviet-occupied areas. Germans born
in Russia who were able to make it to French, British or American sectors
were still not safe, because the Russians wanted them back, and the Allies
were happy to co-operate. Again, it is difficult to find accurate references
to this in anything published at the time, but much has been written in more
recent years.

The Nazis used propaganda as part of the first forced migration of people.
They had little chance to do so with the 1943 trek, and obviously no chance
to do so after the end of the war. And in any event, any disinformation
about the post-war miseries inflicted on the Germans would have come from
the Russians, the Poles or the western Allies.

In general, I think there is still a reluctance to believe what happened to
the ethnic Germans after the war. Part of our challenge is to set the record
straight, or as straight as possible.

Dave Obee

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed SONNENBURG" <esonnenburg at sympatico.ca>
To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 9:02 AM
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Propaganda

> I think that when people hear or read true stories of what happened in
> Russia or Poland
> to German minorities it seems exaggerated and is just waved away as
> propaganda.
> >We just think that it is impossible for humans to do something so bad to
> >another human.  Also since these bad things happened to Germans it
> >matter because they just got back what they deserved because of Hitler.
> >this day Germans are still supposed to feel mass guilt for what happened
> >years ago.
> >many German girls and women did get raped and had German/Russian
> >We had a lady in our church with a child.   Russian teenage girls known
> >"Flintenweiber" or rifle girls would roam in packs and when they caught
> >German soldiers would brutalizeand torture them.  One living man says he
> >ran away and wasn't caught but he hiid and then saw these girls tie his
> >year old friend to two different tanks and drive in opposite directions
> >tearing him apart.  At times when the Russians caught men between 16 and
> >they were executed on the spot.  I sometimes wonder how my grandfather
> >lived and made it to Canada.  Even right after the war the allies gave
> >Poles three days to do whatever they wanted to Germans.  Anyone who had
> >mistreated a Pole during the war was lucky to survive.  Poles had already
> >come onto my grandather's property and taken him away but his Polish
> >servant put in good words for him and so he survived.
> >Older people just don't want to talk about it.  Have a tape recorder
> >if you get some of the older people to start talking.
> >
> >---------------------
> >A couple of dozen books were produced in Germany in that time frame, and
> >all
> >that I have seen would qualify as propaganda. "The call of the
> >for example, is an odd way to refer to the forced migrations that were
> >of the deal with the Soviet-German invasion of Poland in 1939.
> >
> >It should be noted that when these books refer to Volhynia, they are
> >referring to Polish Volhynia, not the Russian side. The migration from
> >Russian Volhynia was a few years later under decidedly different
> >circumstances.
> >
> >I think it would be valuable to gather as much information as we can from
> >the survivors of that period. That would complement the official
> >documentation (ie, the EWZ files) and help correct any misconceptions
> >may have resulted from the publication of those books.
> >
> >Dave Obee
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> 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