[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] World War1

Richard Benert benovich at imt.net
Tue Nov 14 15:28:38 PST 2006

Jurgen and all,

There are village by village lists of German farmers whose lands were 
expropriated in 1915.   They were all published in the Volhynia Gubernia 
News in July, 1916.  Brent Alan Mai edited a book in which they all appear, 
and I think that individual village lists are available on the online (such 
as Dave Obee's website).  More knowledgeable people than I can tell you 
whether these lists extended outside of Volhynia into the Chelm area.  I 
think they do not, but I may be wrong.

Expulsions from the Chelm area seem to have occurred at roughly the same 
time (mid-July, 1915) as they did in Volhynia.  I've seen some evidence that 
individual males were deported before that, but their families followed soon 
after as the warfront got close.  You can't generalize, however, from Chelm 
to the whole of Poland.  Various Russian commanders were busy expelling 
Germans from Suwalki Province already in September, 1914, and other military 
officials issued such orders in the rest of Poland in the months that 
followed. It all depended on how close the German/Austrian army was. A final 
expulsion from Poland was issued February 11, 1915 and was to be completed 
by February 20.  This is roughly 6 months before the expulsion orders were 
given for Volhynia.  At first, if Polish Germans got themselves ready to go 
in 3 days, they could choose their destination (on paper, at least).  Many 
are supposed to have chosen Volhynia, where they had relatives, but after 
that they suffered the same fate as did the Volhynians Germans.

Details of this mass deportation can be found in numerous sources, most of 
them in German.  In English, you have the SGGEE Journal article mentioned by 
Ted Belke and an eye-witness account in the AHSGR Journal, X, no. 4 (Winter, 
1987).  I'm beginning, finally, to work on a distillation of as many 
accounts as I can collect.  I keep running into more and more of them, so 
please be patient.  The best account of why and how this all happened is 
that of Eric Lohr, "Nationalizing the Russian Empire.  The Campaign Against 
Enemy Aliens During World War I" (Cambridge, Mass, 2003).  If you read 
Russian (I can't), I can point you towards a few recent articles by Russian 
scholars.  You can also get a general picture of the refugee experience in 
Peter Gatrell, "A Whole Empire Walking", which reminds us that the ethnic 
Germans were only one group of many who suffered this inhuman treatment at 
the hands of the Russian military.

I hope I may take advantage of this opportunity to ask anyone whose family 
story of the expulsion and exile has not come before my eyes to please share 
it with me.

Dick Benert.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jurgen" <jkaut at xplornet.com>
To: "Frank Janke" <frank_janke at yahoo.de>
Cc: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] World War1

> hi, frank and everyone else,
> this is a good question, i also would like to find out more information on
> when these upheavals took place in the area around chelm,
> several of my aunts were apparently married in april, 1918 in samara ,
> russia
> this was after they were relocated from bukowski las, a small village near
> chelm earlier,
> unsure as to when, how, would love to find out details of this mass
> deportation
> are there any records surviving that record which families, and family
> members had their farms, etc taken away from them and were then sent to
> russia ?
> a very interesting topic
> jurgen kaut
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Frank Janke" <frank_janke at yahoo.de>
> To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:58 AM
> Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] World War1
>> Hallo,
>>  I wonder if anybody knows, when the German settlers north of Chelm had 
>> to
>> leave their settlements and had to go to Russia in World War 1?
>>  Was it in July 1915?
>>  Best regards
>>  Frank Janke
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