[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Untangling a Welke mystery.
jguasch at fastmail.net
Mon Jun 16 09:24:13 PDT 2014
Thanks for the public and private replies. I knew of the Polish-Russian War,
1918-1921. I needed a personal story that would give me an understanding of
how this war affected those near the Poland/Ukraine border. I've received
one so far which is extremely helpful.
To answer a few questions I was asked, I created this timeline:
-Document/notation for Baptisms have been found for only two of the
-All information of her birth and all deaths occurring in Poland came from
Aunt Teofilia Welke's Bible. She was the oldest, born 1894.
-Note Teofilia wrote: "Lived and died in Polen Vladof" (Wlodawa)
-Teofilia immigrated to Chicago in 1913.
-Their mother Euphrosine died 20 Aug 1915, Minsk (the place is per Aunt
Wanda Welke)on their way to Siberia.
-Martha Welke, youngest child, died 1917 age 5
-Hermann Welke, died 1918 age 9
-Father, Carl August Welke died 1919, age 54
-Adolf, died 1920, age 19
-Two passports were issued to remaining four siblings, two per passport. The
earliest date stamped on the passports was 8 Jan 1920, in Wlodawa
-Passports confirm residence Dubeczno. Aunt Wanda wrote a brief history up
until they arrived in Siberia. She says they were born and lived in
Dubeczno. (We have visited the former place of their home)
-One cousin, Teofilia's daughter says when they returned from Russia, the
grist mill was in bad shape and their father was unable to buy parts to get
it fixed. The family was very poor, food was scarce.
-Teofilia, with the help of the Red Cross sent for her siblings.
-Siblings arrived in June 1920.
In 1920 the ages of the four children waiting to come to the US: Ferdinand
24, Rudolf 18, Wanda 15, Wilhelm (my father) 9.
A comment my father made when telling of Adolf being taken from their home
is that he may have looked like the largest and oldest of the boys as he was
sitting in a chair/stool, that made him look taller than his older brothers.
There are other unanswered questions.
-One being the death of Martha in 1917. Perhaps they were still in Russia.
Karl remarried (according to Wanda's story), but did not return to Poland
with his new wife. But, Teofilia wrote "all lived and died in Poland."
-What took the lives of Martha, Karl, and Hermann? My father was also ill
and not expected to live, but he did.
-I hired a researcher to look research Red Cross documents. There were no
documents for this work they did in getting my father and siblings from
Poland to Oregon.
Thanks again for those of you who have replied. I want to leave more than a
list of dates and places for future generations. SGGEE members have given me
far more history and information that any Google search could have ever
Joyce Welke Guasch
From: Karl Krueger [mailto:dabookk54 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 6:17 AM
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org; jguasch at fastmail.net
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Untangling a Welke mystery.
It is important to consider the year this happened - 1917-1920. Adolf was
still only an older teenager so I doubt very much doubt very much 1 and 2
are likely. 3 could be consistent with 4 and I would trust your father's
account the most since he would likely know more about this story being such
a close relative.
One thing I did not see you say is where this happened. It probably did not
happen in Dubeczno. All the Germans were deported towards Siberia during
this period so where was your father's family deported to? This makes your
father's account even more likely. In EWZ Russian records you often see the
term "verschleppt" for missing fathers or sons. Here is a case where Adolf
On Sun, 6/15/14, Joyce Guasch <jguasch at fastmail.net> wrote:
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Untangling a Welke mystery.
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Date: Sunday, June 15, 2014, 4:47 PM
What is likely to have happened to
Adolf? What are the possible situations?
My father, one of eight children, had an older brother, Adolf. There are
several stories of what happened to Adolf before the last four children
immigrated in 1920 from Dubeczno, Poland. These are stories told to them by
their parents, siblings of my father, about Adolf's death.
1. Adolf was a train conductor or engineer and died in a train wreck
2. He was shot as a spy
3. He died in a ditch while hiding
4. Last but not least: This came from my sister who said that she had
gone out to a nice dinner with our parents in their later years and dad had
a drink with dinner. As a rule, dad didn't drink. For whatever reason, he
brought up his brother Adolf. He said that the Bolsheviks came into their
home and took Adolf away. Quite some time passed before they found out he
was dead (quite some time could mean anything, a week to a year). My sister
was shaken as Dad became emotional and if more was said my sister doesn't
remember. But she does remember something about "The Freedom Train."
This would have happened between 1917 or 18 to early 1920.
My aunt has an
entry in her Bible that says Adolf died in 1920 (or is that when they
learned of his death). Adolf was born in 1901, so he would have been 17-19
when this occurred. My dad was nine years younger. Their father may or may
not have been alive when Adolf was taken as he died in 1919.
Joyce Welke Guasch
of Springfield, OR
Researching: Welke, Gurke, Beniamin
Ratz, Lentz, Zimmerman of East Poland
Haner, Lindley, Wisbey, Bailey,
of the US and Germany
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