[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] EWZ tragedies

Nelson Itterman colnels at telus.net
Wed Jan 30 18:55:35 PST 2008

Hello List serve members:


Last September a  discussion was going on about our relatives that had fled
Russia and made it to Germany and what happened to them when the Russian
Army  came looking for them. I said at the time that I was going to visit
with my cousin Lillie who escaped with her mother and father and
Grandmother Wilhelmine (my mother's side of the family), who were in the
refugee camps. They were in Lager Nr. 133 Breslau, Kirschallee. The record
was dated 30 Mai 1944. I will use only their first names to protect their

Wilhelm (my uncle) age 42, was drafted into the German Army. My Grandmother
Wilhelmine  age 69 was very ill, and must have died there. 

My Aunt Lydia, age 42 (my mother's sister)  was with her daughter Lillie,
age 16  in that camp. When the Russians came they were told their homes were
waiting for them back in Volhynia. They were put into boxcars and the train
went by Zhitomir, (they had lived nearby) but the train did not stop, and
went straight up to Siberia to the Komi ASSR. They were put into a lumber
camp and forced to work cutting down trees, stripping the branches, cutting
them into manageable lengths and dragging them to the river nearby.

Lydia and Lillie had been sentenced to 20 years hard labour for leaving
Russia. They received half a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup each day.
After two years, if they signed a document, they received some money each
day and could buy their own food. They had to work out their sentence.

The refugees were mostly mothers and their children. But there were also men
in the camp. They were Russian Soldiers who had been captured by the German
Army and did not commit suicide. They were also sentenced to 20 years hard
labour when they returned to Russia after the war. 

Slave Labour or What?

Lillie married a Russian soldier when she was age 30. They had one daughter,
Nelli. She married a Russian and had two children. Lydia died in the Komi
ASSR. Lilli and Nelli and the two children were able to go to Germany after
their husbands agreed they could leave. The two children married in Germany
and are both now in Canada, and are trying to get mother and grandmother to
immigrate. How many thousands of our ancestors suffered through this
captivity? We will probably never know how many.

My parents with 3 children were able to come to Canada in January 1927. I
now realize how lucky we were to get out of there before emigration was
stopped shortly after we left.




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