[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Leaving Volhynia

Richard J Flanagan rflanagan1 at videotron.ca
Mon Jan 2 12:15:21 PST 2017



               You have certainly solved a small puzzle that I have been
pondering for a while.  After my wife's great-grandfather moved from
Volhynia to Graudenz, West Prussia, in 1905, the first mention of the family
in the church books is the birth of a child in 1906 in the village of Gross
Leistenau (now Lisnowo).  The profession of the father (my wife's
great-uncle) is given as "ansiedler", which I always found a little odd but
now fits in with the Königlich Preußische Ansiedlungskommission.  Given the
dubious basis for acquiring these farms in the first place it is hard not to
think that it was karma that dispossessed them in 1945 and sent them fleeing
for their lives in the middle of winter.   It was fortunate that other
family members had come to the New World in 1905 and were able to sponsor
the survivors of the trek to come to Canada in 1951. 


               This account also possibly explains the absence of any German
gravestones in the Lisnowo churchyard.  I was told by a local that the
Russians had run a tank through the graveyard to smash up the stones and the
pieces were subsequently removed.   The only pre WW-II gravestone I could
find was of a Jewish family.      


The fate of the other family members who remained behind in Volhynia was
even worse.   The survivors of the Stalinist purges were sent to Kazakhstan
- some to the Gulag and some to resettlement.  They are only now trickling
back to Germany.  


The only family members who did well were the ones who came to Canada.  I
have no hesitation in saying that that Canada is the Promised Land.  




From: Richard Benert [mailto:benovich at live.com] 
Sent: 2 January, 2017 1:51 PM
To: Richard J Flanagan <rflanagan1 at videotron.ca>; 'Mauricio Norenberg'
<mauricio.norenberg at gmail.com>
Cc: ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Leaving Volhynia


This has gotten a bit removed from Eduardo's original question, but the
question raised by Mauricio and Richard about the invitation to resettle in
Prussia and Posen is answerable with some reading.  This offer of land in
Posen by the German government is a matter that seems to be not very well
known.  I stumbled across it years ago when doing research on some families
that moved there about 1906 from Volhynia.  It's a sorry chapter in German
history in which some of our people became unwitting  participants. You can
get a pretty good overview on Wikipedia:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Eastern_Marches_Society>   The only
book on it in English that I know of is Richard Tims, Germanizing Prussian
Poland.  The H-K-T Society and the Struggle for the Eastern Marches in the
German Empire, 1894-1919 (New York, 1941).  This Society represented the
worst side of this episode.  It didn't have the ear of everyone in the
German government.  The work of the Königlich Preußische
Ansiedlungskommission in den Provinzen Westpreußen und Posen (The Royal
Prussian Settlement Commission in the Provinces of West Prussia and
Posen--founded in 1894) can also be found on Wikipedia and elsewhere.



On 1/1/2017 8:08 PM, Richard J Flanagan wrote:

  I have the same experience in our family group.  My wife's
great-grandfather, his eldest and youngest sons and all the unmarried girls
went to Prussia while all the other sons (four of them) came to Canada to
homestead - all in 1905 from Volhynia.   I have always assumed that the
Russo-Japanese War had something to do with it.  It was in full swing in
1905.  I have the impression that because they were tenant farmers and not
landowners they were more susceptible to conscription.  I have seen plenty
of printed posters in Russian from the Canadian Government of the time
offering land for homesteading in Canada but I have never heard of Germany
inviting Volhynian settlers back to Prussia.  
  My wife's great-grandfather did well in Prussia and he and his son
both owned farms near Graduenz (now Grudziądz) - all of which was lost in
1945.  Half the family survived the trek back to Germany in 1945 and then
came to Canada as refugees.  The others simply disappeared and we continue
to look for them and their descendants. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Ger-Poland-Volhynia [mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at sggee.org] On
Behalf Of Mauricio Norenberg
Sent: 21 December, 2016 3:13 PM
To: Richard Benert  <mailto:benovich at live.com> <benovich at live.com>
Cc: ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org <mailto:ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org> 
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Leaving Volhynia
I have the same theory with my ancestors. They "disappeared" from Volhynia
from 1905 to 1908 (the year they left Europe) Much later in 1914 I found
another family branch exiting Europe declaring Pommern as their residence.
Are there any records or sources of research for these invitations from the
German government?
On 22 December 2016 at 07:47, Richard Benert  <mailto:benovich at live.com>
<benovich at live.com> wrote:

What is that "short period" in which they appeared in West Prussia?  
If it was in or around 1906-07, they probably had responded to the 
invitation sent out by the German government to acquire land in that 
area in hopes of increasing its percentage of German population.
Dick Benert
On 12/21/2016 10:14 AM, Eduardo Kommers wrote:

Dear friends,
What is known until now in terms of period/range and exit routes 


Germans when they left Volhynia?
I'm asking it for a better understanding about what happened to my


when they left Europe. After they lived for almost 30 years in 
Volhynia (Zhitomir region) they appeared for a short period in the 
West Prussia (Strasburg), now Poland, and than 6 months later they 
left Europe through Marseille, France to go to Brazil.
Thanks for sharing your experience or anyother information.
Eduardo Kommers
Ger-Poland-Volhynia site list
Ger-Poland-Volhynia at sggee.org <mailto:Ger-Poland-Volhynia at sggee.org> 

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