[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] WWI and War Wives

Helen Gillespie hgillespie at rogers.com
Wed Oct 31 12:52:29 PDT 2007

Rita, Richard, et al,

My grandmother Alwine Baier(b. 1895 in Boruwka - not
far from Rowno) had two older brothers who served in
the army in WWI - in opposing armies - one in the
Czar's army and the other in the Austrian/German army
and I gathered not by choice, but supposedly because
they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As
they were ethnic German, and as the war progressed, in
the summer of 1915, the family - together with the
whole village (Friedrichsdorf/Solomka) was transported
to Siberia (Samara region near Chelyabinsk).  The one
brother serving in the Czar's army was wounded and
while in hospital was apparently presented with a
medal by one of the Royal family.  Unfortunately, he
died of his wounds and my Oma did not know what
happened to the medal.  The other brother did survive
the war, fortunately.  The family did make it back to
their damaged village and rebuilt - only to lose all
again in 1940 when they were forced to leave again.

It seems that it did not matter what ethnic origin the
soldier at the beginning of the war - else why draft
same family members in two different armies?  Russia
became fearful of ethnic German colonists' loyalties
(no matter how long they had resided in the area) and
that's why they deported the Germans.

Some of the KIA Germans of WWI are listed in the
database www.volksbund.de  - and click on Graebersuche
on line  (upper left)  - Unfortunately, it is only in
German and one has to register (free). 
I don't think it is complete either. Since I don't
know where my great-uncle died, I can't confirm
whether the name listed is the one I want.

It is similar to the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission (www.cwgc.org) offered by Commonwealth
countries - and there are links to the Aussie, NZ,
British, French and American links - as well as this
German one.  There are apparently many German war
graves cemeteries or monuments throughout the world -
836 or so in almost 44 countries from WWI and WWII. 
There is a list of locations/countries on the site.


--- Richard Benert <benovich at imt.net> wrote:

> Rita,
> Since you've told me that the village concerned here
> was Milaszew (which is 
> fairly far west in Volhynia), it is possible that
> your grandfather's wife 
> was among those who took advantage of the close
> proximity of the advancing 
> Austrian/German army and hid in the woods, thereby
> avoiding the expulsion to 
> inner Russia and putting themselves in a position to
> be "captured" by the 
> Germans, who treated them a good deal better.  Many
> of these people wound up 
> in Germany.
> The fact that her husband was a Russian soldier
> makes no difference.  The 
> Russians deported nearly everyone, regardless of
> whether a family member was 
> fighting for Russia.
> Dick Benert
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <rlyster at telusplanet.net>
> To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:01 AM
> Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] WWI and War Wives
> > Once again I need some help understanding part of
> a story:
> >
> > My grandfather married in 1909 and in 1910 began 4
> years of service in the
> > Russian army.  His wife was taken to Germany for
> safety.  This confuses me
> > because he was a Russian soldier, they were
> fighting the Germans, she was 
> > the
> > wife of a Russian soldier, yet of German heritage.
> >
> > Does anyone know about this?
> >
> > Rita Lyster
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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