[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Catholic Poles and Lutheran Germans

gpvjem gpvjem at sasktel.net
Sat Sep 14 13:43:06 PDT 2013

    According to the publication Die Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden in Russland printed in 1909  ("The Evangelical Lutheran Parishes in Russia"), the cornerstone for a wooden Lutheran church was laid in Heimtal in 1873, followed by the consecration on the 20th of August 1878.  It was some time later that the old manse was replaced with a new stone manse however.  
    Several years ago I had the opportunity to enter about 35 thousand names from the church records of Lodz  (Poland) Trinity Lutheran marriages, births and deaths into a Legacy software file.  The file can be accessed by SGGEE members on the SGGEE web site.  The period covered in these records was from 1825 to 1851, a consecutive 25 year period.  In the case of the marriages of which there were several hundred, I was surprised to see the number of marriages between Catholics and Lutherans.  The vast majority of these "mixed" marriages were between German Catholic men and German Lutheran women.  They were so noted in the Lodi Lutheran church records as were at least some of the births of their children who may have born to them .  Another interesting  tid-bit that I noticed, many of the Catholic men had come to Lodz from Tschechei (now the Czech Republic), likely to work in the textile industry for which Lodz was famous at the time.  I did not "recognize" any marriages between ethnic Poles and ethnic Germans but that is not to say it didn't occur.  It would be interesting to see Catholic church records for the same time period.

John Marsch
in Sunny Saskatchewan

  Linda Susak wrote on Sept 14, 2013: 

  In my family, Vistula Germans, before they moved to Russian Poland sometime after 1860s, the difference was between Catholic and Lutheran.  The people married each other or people from other German villages.  It was a great "sin" to marry a Pole because he/she was Catholic.  One sibling of my grandmother did this, and the family never spoke to him again.  He was totally ostracized from the community.

  From: Krampetz at aol.com
  To: hoeserhistory at aol.com, ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org
  Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 8:56:29 PM
  Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] German Prussians vs German Russians

  There are two kinds of Germans from Russia too..
      Those that were from Russia (Volhynia) and
      Those from Poland, who gave Russia as their home.  
             -because they  were told they were Russian sometime after 1854(?)

  Char writes:
  Yes, prejudice between Catholics and German Lutherans ran deep. (I married a Catholic, and they loved him, but hated it when I "converted"- big to do on both sides - and this was in early 50s!) 

  But actually in Heimthal and Volhynia area it was sometimes different - out of necessity. As I previously wrote, there were few actual parish buildings for church attendance. (The brick manse/church at Heimthal in particular wasn't  built until after my family left there in 1894.) So history shows that the Lutherans many times were married, or baptized USING A CATHOLIC CHURCH! Guess they figured it out: some church was better than none church! 

  The Catholic church records are said to be thorough; I don't know procedure to get to the records, so I have not done this search. Should. I am missing protestant baptism records that were not found at St. Pete's.

  I haven't done research to see what the population was in Volhynia for Catholics. Should do that, too. That would be interesting.  I know that Jewish farmers were rare. The Jews were generally business men and ran almost all of the factories in the full Volhynia region when my ancestors were there (100 some factories, and more than 100 run by Jews - I forget the statistic). Just a small % of the Jews were "farmers", (if I remember, like 3%) and they were generally owners of larger estates. 

  I tried to do some research on local Judaism because some cousins think that our ggrandmother's family was Jewish, and perhaps converted in Heimthal. This thought is held because of old photos and whisperings in the family years ago. But I have had no luck finding Bonderman(n) history. Even had a Jewish genealogist do some checking for me in his records, but can't seem to find the surname Bonderman anywhere near. Weichman(n) families held Christian baptisms way back into history. And logic doesn't hold that there would be a peasant Jewish family in with all the German peasants/farmers - for love and marriage to happen...

  New thought: isn't it strange that there is history shown that German Lutherans married Jews, but held such animosity toward Polish Catholics! hmmm. (Prejudice toward Poles was also very great in the Dakotahs as my German Lutheran ancestors arrived there. Couldn't date a "Polack" - or a "Russian". Guess that they took their opinions with them wherever they went. hah)

  My ggrandfather lived in Bromberg as a child, and they hated Poles. The Prussian government would not allow Polish to be spoken on the streets of Bromberg just prior to my ancestors leaving the area. You were jailed if you did. No churches, or Polish schools were allowed to be built in Bromberg then, even though Poles were the majority and had been there way longer than the Germans (which you all probably know...). This was in early 1860s. We assume that his father died in the 1848 wars for "freedom" and more peasant rights. History seems ironic - and certainly seems to repeat itself.

  Charlotte DuBay
  hoeserhistory at aol.com

  Ger-Poland-Volhynia site list
  Ger-Poland-Volhynia at sggee.org

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list