[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] World War1

Bronwyn Klimach bronklimach at gmail.com
Wed Nov 15 05:43:39 PST 2006


I have been interested in the treatment of families around Suwalki around
the time of the First World War - those involved seem understandably not to
have spoken much about it - and so found Ted's posting very moving and
enlightening indeed.  I know that my children's grandfather* was left behind
as a child (they lived in the village of Szury to the north of Suwalki and
he* had been visiting friends - I am not certain of the date but would
expect it to be 1914) when his parents were taken as slave labour(?) by the
Russians, a move that I had understood to be completely without
preparation.  They were away about 4yrs and had a son born in Saratow.  I
believe they were able to return to their original farm.

I had not worked out how to discover facts around such incidents or other
documented stories - thank you for the references you have already given
Richard (I do not speak Russian), and any further tips you may be able to
give would be most welcome.  In the unlikely event that any other
information I have from the time might be new or of interest to you I am
more than happy to forward it.  Ironically the same (now elderly) gentleman
was (briefly) taken captive by the Russians (and narrowly missed
being shot) during the Second World War.  It was my interest in trying to
record his story that has seen me become too engrossed in family history!

Kind regards,
Bronwyn Klimach.

On 11/14/06, Richard Benert <benovich at imt.net> wrote:
> 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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