[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Migrations of people--Germans to Volhynia, EWZ, Warthe Gau

Sig Matt sig.matt at juno.com
Wed May 3 21:06:07 PDT 2006

To any of you who are researching the subject and area covered in Karl
and Nelson Itterman's message I would highly recommend reading an article
was published in the Journal of the American Historical Society of
from Russia,  AHSGR, Spring 2005 and Summer 2005 issues.
The Title is: "From Puppets of Stalin to Pawns of Hitler & Back Again:
Experiences of Soviet Citizens of German Ethnicity During & After the 
Second World War"
By Stephanie Hoffman

I find it a well researched and well presented comprehensive report on
the fate 
of our cousins in that area in much of the 20th Century.
The Journals are available at the AHSGR Lincoln, NE Headquarters
at $4:50 per copy plus $7:00 shipping for the first three for nonmembers.
(You'll want both issues, the Spring 2005 plus the Summer 2005 copies.
The article is published in two parts.)
The AHSGR address:
ahsgr at ahsgr.org 

For another relative, interesting, tragic report about refugees in that
time period 
read the American National Geographic Magazine, Feb. 2005 issue,
page 32 "Tales from a Nazi Ghost Ship", Feb. 10, 1945,  4500 people drown
(in the icy waters of the Baltic sea). 

Sig Matt
sig.matt at juno.com

On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 07:47:25 -0700 (PDT) Karl Krueger
<dabookk54 at yahoo.com> writes:
> If you want to keep the thread going, again I would say different 
> German POWs experienced different things depending where they were. 
> My father was a German soldier by force, not by choice, thanks to 
> becoming a German citizen through EWZ. If anyone wants to know 
> another reason the Nazis instituted EWZ now you can see it - it 
> provided a further population from which to draw soldiers for an 
> expanding war. At the end of the war my father was a POW with the 
> Americans at the Elbe River. He remarked how nice the Americans 
> treated him and the other German prisoners. He could see how the 
> Americans tried the best they could to support all the prisoners 
> that were rapidly surrendering. So my father had only positive 
> things to say about the Americans. And no, my father was not sent 
> back to Communist-controlled camps. That may have happened to some 
> extent, but there are plenty of "Russian" Germans that stayed in 
> West Germany.
>   If you look at today it is probably no different. Clearly most 
> Iragi prisoners were not treated like the ones popularized in Abu 
> Graib (sp?). That by far is the exception yet that is virtually all 
> you hear about in the media. And if you go back to the Persian Gulf 
> War of 1991, how relieved the Iraqi soldiers were to be captured by 
> the Allied forces. There were stories of Iraqis even helping 
> American soldiers before surrendering. Obviously they knew something 
> about their "enemy". Fortunately my father got to see this happen 
> shortly before he died. I'm sure it brought back memories of what 
> the Americans did for him.
>   Nelson Itterman <colnels at telus.net> wrote:
>   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 
> 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.
> Nelson
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
> [mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of
> A.D.Chalifoux
> 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 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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