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What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 16 Mar 2013 11:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Pieper (Piper), Koepke, Schweder, Vahl
This post was deleted by the author on 17 Feb 2014 7:56PM GMT

Re: What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 17 Mar 2013 4:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Linda,

The German families were forced out and the area was ethnically cleansed and turned over to the Poles including
property, land and possessions. Families were deported and were able to take what they could carry, i.e. not much. Many church records were destroyed or went missing (stolen, sold, buried, ??)

It is one of the lesser known impacts of WWII. Many of the Germans were lutheran or evangelical lutheran. For those of us with families from the area who left prior to the wars, there is little chance (but not totally impossible) of finding cousins.

Now, not all of the church records were destroyed so you need to look (the Mormons are a good source). You would need to be more specific on the town and region you are researching. Some church records are stored in various archives or are still local. Civil records were kept starting in 1874 and many survived and are still available either in Polish archives or through the Mormons and thus, you may be able to trace cousins in this way too.

In short, your research path will be more difficult and possibly non-existent but you wont know until you look for the available records for the specific area you are researching.

Bob



Re: What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 12:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
What happened to the Germans was truly terrible but understandable after the way Germans had behaved to Poles and Poland. However joining the EU has had more than economic results and in the last few years there has been a distinct thawing in the justifiable, even if regrettable, attitudes of many Poles. Most of the churches were taken over by the Catholic Church and converted to Catholic use. Places like cemeteries were simply abandoned until just recently. When in Poznan two years ago my friend took me to three cemeteries where they have cleared the forest, demarcated the area of the cemetery again and made a small central rising with a new cross and rededication as consecrated ground. Obviously most of the graves are unrecognisable but it must be remembered that many of these areas were very primitive and poverty stricken and the headstones were mostly of very poor quality - no grand marble monuments, although we did clean off a few gravestones and read the names. In Poznan itself the Bamberger German descendents have recently opened a very good museum recounting the history of their presence in the city.
A lot was destroyed but if you know the name of the town/village it would be well worth while writing to the local authority/church and asking what records they still have. Actually, although they had to choose to take Polish nationality and could not have German schools or any official use of the language, and were wise to try and hide the fact that they spoke German at home, it is surprising how many did choose to stay rather than be expelled. A curious twist of history. Best of luck with your searches.

Re: What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 7:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
This post was deleted by the author on 17 Feb 2014 7:56PM GMT

Re: What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 10:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Had to have a smile when you mentioned Malbork (incidentally that is not an "l", it has a little line through it and has a "w"-"v"ish sound. Perhaps the easiest to remember is Schneidemuhl which is now Pila with little line through "l", pronounced roughly Piwa). Marienburg was the seat of the Teutonic knights and the largest brick-built fortress in Europe - absolutely vast, google up a picture. As you go in there is a photo of what it looked like when the Germans retreated in front of the Red Army. Because of the symbolism they had literally fought to the last brick and this great famous fortress was just that - a heap of broken bricks. It has now been restored, by the Poles, in every detail to exactly what it was like when it was the world symbol of the power of the Teutonic knights - apart from the domestic outbuildings which have been turned into a very nice hotel. Did someone say something about a mad, mad, world? Really worth a visit though. Good luck with your searches.

Re: What happened to the Germans after Pommerania became Poland?

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 2:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Haack
My husband and I visited Lassen, Germany in Pomerania about 10 years ago. We had the address of my grandmother's childhood home and were able to visit. We were told of the expulsion of the Germans and about life under communism. I understand many city people from Berlin are buying homes as the area is charming and on the sea.
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