[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] history of German Volhynia population

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Sat Oct 6 08:50:32 PDT 2007

At 05:38 AM 06/10/2007, Sharon Kitter wrote:
>Hi list!
>This is a bit off topic, but can someone give me a brief history of why
>the Germans migrated to Volhynia or give me the names of some
>books/sources (in English) where I can read about it? I have discovered
>that both sets of my paternal grandparents either were born there or
>their parents were. I have no idea what this area is except that the
>borders changed a lot ( Poland/Russia/(Germany?)). It makes it very
>confusing for me to figure out what is going on. Also, I would just like
>to understand were they came from.
>Thanks much,
>Sharon Kitter

Your questions are quite appropriate for this mailing list.

For general history and boundary changes, I recommend "Historical 
Atlas of East Central Europe" by Paul Magocsi.  It is usually 
available from http://www.genealogyunlimited.com for purchase.  Many 
libraries will have it and, if they don't, they should.  You don't 
have to read the entire book.  It is nicely split up into periods of 
time and location which makes it easy to follow.  Contains numerous 
colourful maps and easy to read brief descriptions.

Very briefly, historic Volhynia is that part of northwestern modern 
Ukraine from a short distance west of Kiev to the border with 
Poland.  It was a province of Russia between the late 1700s and WW 
I.  It was split in half between Poland and Russia from 1920 through 
WW II.  Reasons for migration can be very complex depending on 
circumstances, location and time frame.  Basically, cheap productive 
land was available in Volhynia through the middle 1800s and this 
attracted a lot of Germans.

There is little English language reading material on this migration 
topic.  SGGEE hopes to fill that gap through publication of its 
Journals.  You can read them including all back issues by becoming a 
member of SGGEE.  There are a variety of articles, some general, some 
very specific, along with family stories that will help to understand 
the migration.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca  

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list