Jack Milner wjmilner at shaw.ca
Tue Jan 19 15:58:40 PST 2016

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Poland and Ukraine came under the 
Russian Empire, and were not independent countries as they are today. 
You have to scour the work of many historians to wrestle the historical 
fragments of ethnic German history into a semblance of order.

*Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920.*

The frontiers between Poland and Soviet Russia had not been clearly 
defined after WW I and the Poles held control of most of the disputed 
territories in 1919. The war had been precipitated largely by the demand 
of Poland that its eastern border of 1772 be restored. Following a 
Polish attempt to take advantage of Russia's weakness with a major 
incursion into Ukraine in early 1920, border skirmishes then escalated 
into open hostilities between Poland and Soviet Russia. The Bolsheviks 
mounted an April counter-offensive which was very successful. By 
mid-August, the Polish forces had retreated westward to the Polish 
capital of Warsaw. The Polish forces then achieved an unexpected and 
decisive victory during the Battle of Warsaw and began their advance 
eastward. The war ended with ceasefire in October 1920 and a formal 
peace treaty between Poland and Russia, the Peace Treaty of Riga, was 
signed on March 18, 1921. The treaty terms, which fixed the Russo-Polish 
border, did not satisfy the claims of the victorious Poles, but they 
awarded to Poland large parts of Belorussia and of Ukraine. The Peace 
Treaty of Riga lasted until WW I I  began in 1939.

It was just one of a series of conflagrations raging almost 
simultaneously. Since the borders in the area were tenuous, and in some 
cases non-existent, several countries came into territorial conflict. 
There were six concurrent wars on the borders of Poland from 1918 to 
1922, between Poland and*:* Ukraine; Germany (over Poznan); Germany 
(over Silesia); Lithuania; Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. Add to 
this the end of the First World War, the Russian Civil War, Allied 
Intervention in that war, and the Paris Peace Conference. With these 
events to consider, the reader can see just how confusing and unstable 
the European political situation was.

*World War I I *

In 1939 secret protocols in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact defined the 
territorial spheres of influence Germany and Russia would have after a 
successful invasion of Poland. Poland would be partitioned into three 
major areas. The Warthland area, bordering Germany would be annexed 
outright to the German Reich, and all non-German inhabitants expelled to 
the east. More than 77,000 square miles of eastern Polish lands, with a 
population of over thirteen million would become Russian territory. The 
central area would become a German protectorate, named the General 
Gouvernement, governed by a German civil authority. It called for the 
resettlement of ethnic Germans from the part of Poland that came under 
Soviet control.

As these ethnic Germans arrived in Germany, they were first registered 
and photographed, with all individuals over the age of 15 registered 
individually. Everyone was subject to a health and racial examination 
before qualifying for naturalization, resettlement and /[military 
service in the German Army]./ Many were resettled in the Wartheland area.

The Ribbentrop-Molotov non-agression pact ended on June 22, 1941 when 
Germany invaded Russia. However, during the period 1939 - 1945 more than 
2.9 million individuals were processed by the German 
Einwanderungszentralstelle (EWZ) - (Immigration Central Office) to 
facilitate the resettlement of ethnic Germans from other parts of Europe.

The westward advance of Soviet troops in 1943 continued until Berlin 
surrendered on May 2, 1945. The EWZ files tell us more about the history 
of these ethnic Germans.


On 1/19/2016 2:41 PM, Earl Schultz wrote:
> If I read the original request from Mike correctly, the request was for a
> book about Germans in Russian-Poland, not a book about Volhynia.
> Sometimes we forget that SGGEE represents Germans who never made it to
> Volhynia but remained in Russian occupied Poland. I believe at least some
> of Mike¹s ancestry is that situation, as is my own story.
> Earl
>>>> The link below is a beginning.  Volhynia's story is entwined with
>>>> Catherine
>>>> the Great.  I cannot remember the name of the one I read but there are
>>>> many at Amazon under Volhynia and Catherine the Great.
>>>> https://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/history_culture/history/german_american_jo
>>>> u
>>>> rnal1.html
>>>> Fran Matkovich
>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>>> On Jan 18, 2016, at 4:21 PM, MIKE MCHENRY <maurmike1 at verizon.net>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Has there been an account written? Can anybody recommend a book?
>>>>> MIKE
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