[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Volhynian Village Adventure Tour

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Thu Sep 17 22:51:16 PDT 2009

Volynian Village Adventure Tour
Don Miller, Tour Leader

Today the Benders and I visited Iwanowitsch, near Pulin, by horse and
wagon. Sasha, the driver, had loaded his wagon with straw and then covered
it with a couple of colorful blankets.  By coincidence, Sasha had grown up
in Iwanowitsch, so he knew all the old landmarks.  When we reached the
Kol. of Iwanowitsch, we took the old Iwanowitsch road north toward the
Kol. of Skolobow.  The trail, now overgrown, and once a fairly wide dirt
road,  is now nothing but a bunch of deep ruts.  We made our way to the
place where the German Baptist church once stood in order to get our
bearings, so that we could find Hermann Nikel's place, where Adeline
Bender's grandfather lived.  We had been at the church and cemetery a few
days earlier, so we simply turned around there and headed back in the
direction of Nikel's farm.

We found an old man, Nicolai Melnick (? spelling), who was born there in
1923 and has lived in Iwanowitsch all his life.  He remembered the church,
the cemetery, the windmill (Stobbe), the streams and other old landmarks.
After a bit he walked us the 100 meters to where Herman Nikel's house and
barn/sheds once stood.  It was now just a little patch of weeds, but
nevertheless sscred ground for Adeline Bender and her daughter, Heide.  It
was an emotional moment.

In addition to Iwanowitsch, we have been to Pulin (where we are staying in
the Community Center, run by our Samaritan Ministries in Ukraine),
Cholosna, Hortschick, Krylinsk, Federowka, Olschelowka, Skolobow, Heimtal,
Neudorf (the mother church of the Baptist movement), Wolodarsk,Neu
Wikorowka, Dubrowka, Pisarowka, Sorotschin, Barashi, and Wladimir-Volynsk,
Elisabetpol, Kisielin, Gnojno, Mariendorf, Wladimirowka and Rozyszcze in
Western Volhynia.  Tomorrow we head for a day of sight-seeing in Kiev
(Andrei's Descent, the Lavra Monastary, the Chernobyl Museum, a cuise down
the Dneiper river, and other interesting places) with the Benders, and Gil
and Jim Stelter(cousins) and their wives, who comprise our tour this year.

We have also visited several farms, talked with administrative heads of
villages, toured the German places of interest in Zhitomir, a Chernobyl
resettlement and met many wonderful people.  It has been another
once-in-a-lifetime adventure for our tour members.  This is done on the
run, but we promise to write a full and detail account of our journey upon
our return for publication in the SGGEE Journal, together with pictures.


Jerry Frank
Calgary, AB

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