[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Did Russians recruit German boys from Plock area?

Mara Manke mara.manke at sbcglobal.net
Wed Oct 31 17:14:32 PDT 2007

Hello everyone--
Since we're on this topic...

I am wondering if anyone has input on how the Russian military (or even German military?) was involved along the Vistula river near Gostynin, Nowa Wies and Plock around 1914-1921?  Specifically, were all the young boys in the German settlements in Congress Poland forced to put on a uniform and leave their families?  I had read somewhere that the boys were made to dig foxholes and almost be like "assistants" to the older soldiers, but I can't recall if they were given a name or even a ranking.

My grandfather, Edmund Johann Manke b. 1900 in Karolewo near Gostynin, was in the Russian (German?) army as a young teenager, but to my knowledge, never fought in WWI.  He left for the USA in 1921 so that he "wouldn't have to go into a different level or division of the army" (my father Elliott recalls his dad Edmund saying this many years ago.)  Interestingly enough, Edmund had always claimed he was born in 1901, but when I got his birth certificate translated, it read 1900.  Could he have changed his birth year to appear younger than he actually was?

Which ever army this was, did they give these young boys a division name or a ranking? What would determine when they could go up to a different division or rank?  Age?  Experience?  

Any thoughts or knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

Kindest regards,
Mara Manke
Cleveland, Ohio

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