NEWS AND PEOPLE
We appreciate the response to the annual renewal of memberships. Our newest member of the Lifetime Club is Leslie Ball, Millersville, MD.
The Bukovina Society mourns the loss of Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner, Vice President and active co-worker and supporter of the Society since its founding in 1988. She died on February 3rd, 2001 at the age of 72. Mary Agnes was born in Hays, the only child of Ignatz Seidel and Regina Schönberger. She graduated from Ellis High School. After the death of her husband Joseph Lang in 1987, Mary Agnes married Paul Wagner in 1990 and continued to reside in Ellis. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ellis, Daughters of Isabella, VFW Auxiliary, Sunflower Polka Club, and Eagles Auxiliary. On several occasions Mary Agnes hosted out-of-town guests, who were in Ellis to attend the Bukovinafest. Her enthusiasm for her Bukovinian heritage was reflected in her commitment to the Society and its endeavors. She organized and directed numerous cultural programs for the Society based on customs of the Bukovina German immigrants to Ellis. This summer she had planned a trip to Brazil to attend the convention of a Bukovina Society in Rio Negro/ Mafra, where she had hoped to meet descendants of the Lang/Seidl family, who had emigrated there over 125 years ago.
Her interest in Bukovina is reflected in her son, Al Lang, who in 1993 published a book entitled "Bukowina Families." In this study Al compiled genealogies of the founding families of Pojana Mikuli, the village of origin of the Lang/Seidl families as well as many other Bukovina German immigrants to Ellis. With her passing the Bukovina Society has lost a diligent and dedicated worker. To the family of Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner: our heartfelt sympathy with assurance that she will continue to live in our hearts.
BUKOVINA PEOPLE & EVENTS
Patricia Guza is searching for descendants of Johann (b.1886) and Ferdinand (b. 1882) Sauer, sons of Franz and Julianna Kozak Sauer from Tereblestie. She is thankful for Ron Sauer from Canada who was the first to tell her of her great grandparents. Patricia is hoping to meet Bukovina family at the Bukovina Society’s meeting, scheduled to be held in conjunction with the FEEFHS convention in Regina in 2002. Postal: Pasaje Chacabuco 951, 9100 Trelew - Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina E-mail: email@example.com
Dr. Bill Keel, professor at Kansas University and frequent participant at our Bukovinafests was featured in Kansas newspapers on the publication of the Germanic Atlas.
Dr. Ortfried Kotzian sent Christmas greetings to the society. He also mentioned that he was in Bukovina on three occasions in the past year. Iris, a daughter of Ortfried and Marie-Luise, won a prize at the federal competition (Bundeswettbewerb 2000) for singing an aria with the American Composer, John Cage. She received the special prize of 5000 DM awarded by the Walter-Kaminsky-Foundation and the opportunity of singing with the German Berlin Opera. Ortfried, Marie-Luise, and daughter Ruth were in Berlin, to listen to Iris sing.
An article by Van Massirer about an experience at Bukovinafest 2000 was published in the Galizien Newsletter No. 25, January 2001. He met Erich Slawski who emailed him information on Galizien Massirers that contained the two generations Van needed to connect with a cousin, who has traced his lineage back to the mid-1500s in the Rhineland-Palatinate area of Germany. "I was so engrossed on this day that I stayed up until I was able to tie everything together at about 3:00 A.M. the next day. All the info came from church records that included, not only birth, baptismal, marriage and death information, but also listed house numbers and professions. I consider myself indeed fortunate to have met this man."
Della Ann Binder sent word that her husband Eddie died and enclosed a copy of his obituary. She is working to update her family tree. Our deepest sympathy to Della Ann and her family in her great loss.
The Hermann (Arminius) Monument in New Ulm, Minnesota has been recognized as a national symbol to honor the contributions of Americans of German heritage to the United States. Passed by the 106th Congress and the United States Senate, the monument honors the man who freed the German tribes from foreign domination. A similar statue of Hermann exists in Detmold, Germany.
The Information Bulletin of the Romanian American Heritage Center contains a review of a book by Joanne Bock, Ph.D., “Ethnic Vision: A Romanian American Inheritance” (University of Colorado Press, 1997). In the book, based on her doctoral dissertation, the author chronicles the artistic achievements of first and second generation Romanian-Americans. They continue to produce popular art, including embroidery, weaving, wood sculpture, painting of Easter eggs and icons in the United States.
REMINISCENCES OF JOHANNA BUSEK (1895-1990)
By: Anita Busek
Johanna Busek was born Johanna Kostiuk (Kostick in America) in 1895 in Bukovina, a crown land of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At different times, her ancestors had migrated to Bukovina looking for a better life. Her maternal grandmother's family Kelsch (Koelsch) had migrated from Germany to Bukovina as early as 1740; her paternal grandfather Cystiuc (Germanized to Kostiuk) had fled from the Russian Ukraine about 1870 after participating in a revolt against the czar and was later assassinated in Austria.
She was ten when her mother died; her father was in America. Johanna had two older twin sisters, Aurelia and Elisabeth, an older brother Karl (“Karoltschi”, “Charlie”) and a younger brother, Josef, and sister, Rosalia. As a child she was sent to live with her maternal grandmother, Anna Kelsch Pekar – an unsatisfactory arrangement for both of them. This grandmother was socially established: she had donated a bell for the Paltinossa Catholic (her husband's) Church and a bell for the Lutheran (her) Church. She also kept a large locked cupboard filled with herbs she gathered to provide herbal remedies to the local German community.
Johanna decided she wanted to join her father, a shoemaker, who was dividing his time between Detroit and Washington State. She "hatched" an arrangement whereby she collected eggs from Grandmother's chickens, kept one egg only for herself, which she would take to trade for postage at the general store. Only the woman who ran the store knew of the egg-for-postage trade and as Johanna put it, "she never told Grandmother".
At this time, her brother Karoltschi was an unmanageable teen-ager. His guardian, Ludwig Stasz, shifted him from his house to his grandmother's and then to their family friends, the Burkowskis. Next he was shipped to his father in America. A young boy could travel alone or in company with older friends. But, sadly, that was not permitted for young girls. Then came a message: Elisabeth Kostiuk Loy, one of the twins, would join her husband in America and take her sister with her. Johanna was elated. Elisabeth did not want to leave. Every time Johanna added something to the "America" trunk, Lizzie would take it out saying, "I want that to be here when I return." Johanna, now age 14, finally boarded a train to Bremerhaven with her sister "Lizzie" and Lizzie's 9-month-old son, Fred Loy.
Johanna was 5' 2", about 98 pounds, and an inquisitive, active child. In her own words, "she was all over the ship" the Wilhelm der Grosse. While on board, she tried to convince her sister to go on deck for air while she watched the baby. Lizzie asked, "What if he cries?" "Oh," said Johanna jokingly, "I'll just toss him out the porthole." Lizzie agreed that was what she probably would do and never left the cabin.
They entered at New York through Ellis Island and boarded a train to take them to "Kee-HAY-leez [Chehalis], Vashingtone." Johanna wanted to get better clothes out of the trunk but Lizzie said they should wait because clothes get wrinkled and dirty; they would change when they got closer to their family. The train ride through Canada lasted about eight days. They bought food from wayside booths. At one time, the purchase took too long and the train started without Johanna who ran but couldn't catch up. The conductor leaned down and dragged her some distance, badly injuring her leg. She carried two scars about the size of quarters below her knee as a reminder of the experience.
Nearing Washington State, they learned their trunks were not on the same train. So, in September 1910, Elisabeth with Fred in her arms and Johanna arrived in Chehalis to be met by Elisabeth's husband, Rudolf (Ralph) Loy, and their father, Antone Kostiuk. Elisabeth and Johanna were wearing their homeland's housework clothes, babushkas around their heads, and no shoes. They were barefoot. The shoemaker's children had no shoes. Johanna was always convinced her father had them walk to Coal Creek for available housing because he was embarrassed to take them on the trolley.
Johanna was sent to the Chehalis Catholic school to learn English and American ways. The Sisters, at least one of whom was German, had unusual teaching methods using similar German-English words. In trying to teach her the phrase "God bless you," Sister held up a fork and asked her to name it. "Gabel" and then shoe, "Schuhe." "Gabel blecht Schuhe" was the phonetic facsimile for the blessing.
She was eventually working as a housemaid for the Foster Family in Chehalis. Then there was an arranged marriage at age 16 to William Busek in January 1912. The person who arranged the marriage was her husband's aunt, Marie Pekar Sturdza, who had married Johanna's uncle, John Kostiuk.
A postscript in a letter written in the Gothic type of the Latin alphabet in 1912 by her aunt, Paulina Pekar Stasz, was found in Johanna's files and translated in September 2000. It said:
P.S. Dear Brother-in-law;
I heard a sad story about 'Hanna. Doesn't Lizzie know what Ludmilla has with Ferdinand? Could they not avoid the marriage with Wilhelm? Since we all found out, we can only say she didn't need to go to America. She could have found just as good a relationship over here.
Johanna died in February 1990, six months before her 95th birthday. She was survived by four daughters, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Her last living daughter is Anita Busek of Seattle.
Elisabeth had more children and died in 1920 never returning to her homeland. One of her granddaughters is Bukovina Society member, Joyce Davis of Connecticut.
Today the baby who was NOT tossed out the porthole, Fred Loy, lives in Centralia, WA and will celebrate his 91st birthday the end of December.
THE ERBERT SISTERS
Joseph Erbert (1870-1944) arrived in Ellis, Kansas in 1889 as a young man with his parents Josef and Josepha. They immigrated on advice of his older brother Frank, who led the establishment of the first Catholic community of Bukovina Germans in America. Joseph was at the train station in 1892 when Theresa Weber arrived with her family and, on seeing her, said she was the girl he was going to marry. He did just that the next year. Theresa was a first cousin of Archbishop Joseph Weber, both born in Fürstenthal, Bukovina. Archbishop Weber was a priest who rose to Bishop in Bukovina and last served in Chicago, where a high school was named after him. Among the large family of Joseph and Theresa, three daughters joined the Congregation of St. Agnes, a religious order of women who established a convent in Ellis. The Sisters from Wisconsin, who were teaching immigrant ethnic Germans there, set up a grade school for the children of immigrants to Ellis, which continues today.
Sisters Mary, Julie and Dorissa spent their lives as teachers and have together been professed for over 200 years. For many years after retirement from teaching, they served in other ministries of the congregation in cities around the country. Only now are they living in a retirement center, Nazareth Court, operated by the congregation. The Sisters were able to learn the history of their Bukovina ancestry first hand from their parents and other family. Sister Mary, the eldest, provided some priceless memories to us and Sister Dorissa logged some of her father’s recollections in a diary in her early years. Sister Julie attended the first and numerous other Bukovinafests. Even at ages in the 90s, the Sisters remain active and well informed. They enjoy receiving e-mail from their nieces and nephews around the country and news of the Bukovina Society.
BUCOVINA SOCIETY IN DETROIT
It appears that our Kansas-based Bukovina Society founded in 1988 is not the first association of Bukovinians and their descendants in the United States organized to preserve their ethnic heritage. We have learned from records that Orthodox Jews and other immigrant groups from this eastern European province established Bukovina societies in New York and Michigan as early as the turn of the last century. Paul Ravish informed us that his grandfather belonged to one such society. During a family reunion he received a picture of the members of Bucovina Society standing in front of the Romanian Hall in Detroit (see photo p. ?) In it he identified the frizzy-haired girl in the front middle as his mother, along with an aunt and his grandparents. Paul's grandfather kept pictures and records of The Union & League of Romanian Societies of America and of Romanian-language newspapers. A 1958 edition of such a paper featured an article commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Bucovina Society. In about 1912 his grandfather helped build St. George's Romanian Orthodox Church located on Hancock Street in Detroit and sponsored a priest from Romania. In 1961 a new church was consecrated in Southfield, Michigan.
ANECDOTE OF EARLY VOLGA GERMAN DIALECT
Vernon (Curly) Goetz grew up in Hays, Kansas among descendants of Volga German immigrants, some 15 miles from the Bukovina German community in Ellis. In the 1930s in Hays, English was used in the schools and business places, but people still spoke the Volga German dialect among each other. As a youngster, Goetz was in the Star Theater one afternoon watching a Western movie staring Buck Jones. Buck was in hot pursuit of a crook on horseback when the bad guy ducked into a large cave. Getting off his horse, Buck adjusted the pistols on each hip, and strode in after him. The crook hid in a side tunnel and Buck walked on by him. Buck stopped to reach into his pocket for his usual piece of chewing gum as the crook started to sneak up on him. The theater was perfectly quiet as the suspense grew and a lady yelled out, “Bazuff, Buck, da kummt fom hinterumm.” (Be careful, Buck, he’s coming from behind) Most of the audience understood her warning and broke into uproarious laughter.
VIGNETTES FROM ORAL HISTORY
Compiled and edited by Maria Becker and Sophie A. Welisch
The following anecdotes, collected through interviews with Bukovinians and their descendants, contain a mixture of folklore, tradition, values and humor. Some are tinged with the paranormal, always close to people in an agrarian society, who looked to signs and omens to interpret events in their life. While we readily accept the maxim, "seeing is believing," its converse, "believing is seeing" cannot be dismissed out of hand.
Most of the anecdotes date from the mid-nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Passed down through the generations by oral tradition, they have become part of the Bukovinian cultural legacy. From them we glean aspects of the history, myths, social relationships and religious views which shaped the German Bohemian colonists of the south Bukovinian villages of Bori, Frassin, Gurahumora, Lichtenberg and Paltinossa and their descendants.
1. Lacking enough chairs and a large enough table to accommodate the entire family, Grandmother regularly seated her small daughter on the floor for her meal of bread and milk. On one such occasion, as the child was eating, she heard an adult male voice say in the vernacular German Bohemian dialect, "es nit nur die Midl, es die Prockerle aa." [Don't eat only the milk; eat the crumbs, too.] Upon turning around she saw a large snake next to the child. Frightened, Grandmother quickly looked away but then focused again on the child. To her surprise, the snake had vanished. It was no where in sight. She called in someone to inspect the house to see from where it might have entered, but no possible opening could be located. Grandmother interpreted this phenomenon as a bad omen, the fulfillment of which was not long in coming. Within a week her daughter died. (recounted by Pauline Pelzar, née Neumayer)
2. As her husband Adam Loy lay dying, Eva (née Anhauser) knelt weeping at his bedside, imploring him not to desert her and the children. With his dying breath, he assured her he would be with her always. Nonetheless, the hour of his departure from the earthy plane finally arrived and Adam was buried in the family plot on a hill within view of the house.
Desolate and devastated, Eva daily visited her husband's grave, imploring him to return to her in some form and to assure her of his presence. One evening at 6:00 p.m. the dogs began barking and happily wagging their tails, just as they had every evening when their master returned from the fields. Then, although she saw no one touching the weights of the clock, she nonetheless saw them raised to rewind the clock in a ritual Adam had performed every evening. Terrified, Eva, who had been sitting at the edge of the bed, pulled the covers over her head in fear of the occult. Not wishing another brush with the supernatural, she accepted the sign as proof of her husband's enduring presence and ceased praying for his return. (recounted by Cäcilie Loy, née Loy)
3. Above one bed in my father's house in Bori hung a portrait of a bearded old man. I always thought it was my grandfather, Benedikt Pilsner, since he sported a similar moustache and beard. Not until I was an adolescent did I learn that the picture over the bed was that of the Emperor Francis Joseph whom Grandfather held in high esteem.
It seems that in the last decade of the nineteenth century the Emperor had come to Bukovina to hunt, and unbeknownst to Grandfather, his woodlands had been designated as the site on the event. Grandfather, a tall and slender man, was also a dyed-in-the-wool hunter and cut a smart figure on horseback.
At the end of the day, as the Emperor and his party were returning from the hunt, he noticed Grandfather at a distance and inquired who that man was. After being told he was the local forest ranger, the Emperor asked to meet him. Not only did they exchange pleasantries about the hunt but before the conversation ended, the Emperor offered Grandfather a promotion and a higher paying position in Lemberg (Lvov), Galicia.
No one now living still recalls how long Grandfather considered the offer, but after some deliberation and to everyone's surprise, he turned it down. It seems that had he accepted, his wife, Regina, would have been expected to wear a hat. And everyone knows that no self-respecting German Bohemian woman should take on such urban trappings as a hat! (recounted by Regina Pilsner, née Schafaczek)
4. On her way home to Bori, Mrs. Kraus was carrying a piglet she had just bought at the weekly outdoor market in Gurahumora. En route she encountered the priest, Father Sigismund Mück and stopped to exchange a few casual remarks with him. As they were parting, the priest wished her a good day, adding, "May it be a very big and fat one." To which Mrs. Kraus replied, "The same to you, I'm sure, Your Reverence." (recounted by Maria Lang, née Pilsner)
5. Ludwika Lang, née Turner) of Lichtenberg, had no opportunity ever to attend school and was unable even to write her name. After she married Josef Lang (son of Anton), she moved to Bori. Here she set up a household with her husband and all went well until 1906 when Josef unexpectedly died, leaving Ludwika with six small children and one on the way.
Life on a farm for a widow with small children had never been easy but her lot improved as her sons developed into adulthood. As destiny would verify, the shots which rang out in Sarajevo on that fateful day of June 28, 1914, boded ill for many a villager even as far away as Bukovina. Ludwika's two eldest sons, Franz and Eduard, were drafted into the Austrian army and her third son, Johann, volunteered.
Left to fend for herself and her remaining minor children Ludwika was barely able to eke out an existence. When the inevitable tax collector showed up at the door, he found her with not even a Kreutzer in her pocket. Unable to extract the stipulated amount in the coin of the realm, the tax collector then went to the stable and proceeded to impound the cow. Now in those days in Bori a cow was not only one's "bread and butter," it was literally a lifeline! One can hardly imagine the tug of war which ensued. As the tax collector was pulling the cow toward the gate, Ludwika was holding it back by its tail. The cow, not liking the situation at all, put up resistance of its own in order to escape from its perceived tormenters.
But Ludwika had not come to the end of her resources. Feisty and fearless she picked up an ax and shouted at the tax collector: "This cow is going nowhere, but you are!" She had decisively made her point. The tax collector conceded defeat and grudgingly departed empty-handed. (recounted by Ludwika Lang, née Turner)
6. As a child I spent much time in my grandparents' house. My grandmother, Regina Pilsner, née Schafaczek, was the kindest, dearest woman I have ever known. She must have been the designated baby sitter for the children of the entire neighborhood. Moreover, she probably had little choice in the matter since we, her charges, were all cousins and needed supervision when our parents were working in the fields.
Grandmother's kitchen seemed enormously large. In it we spent many a happy hour playing "ringa ringa ria" and spinning around on our axis until we got dizzy and dropped to the floor. Somehow we managed never to hit a single piece of furniture. Children in Bori had few toys except those they made themselves. Entire generations reached maturity with not one single store-bought toy. Nonetheless, we made our own good times and enjoyed our youth. (recounted by Maria Becker, née Lang)
7. It was 1915. World War I had been in progress for some months and the Russians had already broken through the Austrian defenses in northern Bukovina. Anticipating an inevitable Russian invasion and looting by the troops, Josef Kisslinger thought it best to bury his valuables, which included a gold pocket watch.
After deliberating as to how best to conceal the cache, he decided to put everything into a small wooden box and bury it at the far end of his field close to where his property converged with that of his Romanian neighbor. While he was busily digging, his neighbor approached and asked what he was doing. Josef explained that he was hiding his valuables from possible Russian confiscation and strongly urged his neighbor do to the same. To mark the spot, he put a rather sizeable rock over the freshly dug up soil as the Romanian watched.
Several days later, as he was working in his field, Josef happened to glance in the direction of the hidden box. To his chagrin, he found not only that the rock had been moved, but that his treasure had vanished. Since the Russian invasion had not yet materialized, who could possibly have taken the box? A version of the familiar Pennsylvania Dutch saying must surely have come to mind: "Why do we get soon old and so late smart?" (recounted by Johann Welisch)
8. After the Russians captured southern Bukovina and occupied the village of Paltinossa in 1915, a number of their military officers sought quarter in the home of Leon Loy, the owner of one of the largest and most imposing homes in the village. Leon and his extended family, which included seven children, were relegated to one room while the women of the household were expected to cook for and otherwise serve the occupiers.
The fear, which had gripped the villagers, was overwhelming, especially since the commanders permitted their troops the traditional three days of looting and similar mischief. During the first night of the occupation, the clinking of broken glass could be heard in the Loy household. After a Russian drank once from a glass, he hurled it against the wall. The stemware, treasured by the family and used only on special occasions, was totally destroyed in an evening of revelry in which the festive Russians celebrated their military victory. Yet despite their advanced state of inebriation, none molested any members of the family.
As time went on a feeling of trust developed between occupiers and occupied. The officers readily shared their food with the family. They joined together in playing instrumental music and in choral singing. Moreover, many faithfully affirmed their Orthodox religious practices, in particular the Lenten fast during which they consumed no meat or dairy products including milk and cheese. To the narrator they served as an example of how the Lenten fast should indeed by kept. (recounted by Susanna Welisch, née Loy)
9. In his lifetime the blacksmith Lukas Rippel had shod many horses in the neighborhood. At his funeral procession from house to cemetery in Gurahumora, two of these horses were hitched to the wagon bearing his coffin. Although proceeding as far as the entrance to the cemetery, the horses adamantly refused to enter its gates. Even the laying on of the whip could not budge the animals. Finally, in resignation, the pallbearers had to unload the coffin and carry it through the gates to its final resting place. The villagers concluded that the horses had sensed the finality of the act about to befall Lukas Rippel and had refused to cooperate in its execution. (recounted by Pauline Pelzar, née Neumayer)
10. The immigrant experience in America invariably produced those humorous experiences arising from inadequate facility with the English language. A problem often arose when a German-speaking immigrant was asked to spell his name. As a phonetic language, German words are spelled the way they sound and oral spelling is neither part of the school curriculum nor of the popular culture. When confronted with the question, "How do you spell your name?" the German immigrant usually stumbled and had to make several attempts at the task. On one such occasion when Landsmann Erbert from Gurahumora was asked to spell his name, he replied, "eerie-beerie-eee-tee."
While one would think that the verbalizing of numbers would present no such problem, the Bori immigrant Stefan Brandl was heard giving his house number (200) as "two-nothing-nothing." (recounted by Johann Welisch)
11. Michaelina was very much in love with her childhood sweetheart, whom we shall call Jakob. Since they were soon to be married, it seemed that her fiancé reciprocated the feeling. Preparations for the wedding were proceeding apace, right down to the wedding gown, which Michaelina had ordered from a local seamstress.
However, to quote the bard from Avon, "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip." Jakob's affections began to cool and ultimately he chose another for his bride. While her friends and family knew of Michaelina's anguish, none suspected her intentions. On the day of Jakob's marriage, as the church bells peeled, Michaelina, arrayed in her wedding dress, hurled herself in front of a moving passenger train on the stretch between Gurahumora and Paltinossa.
On moonlit nights a figure in shimmering white may sometimes be seen hovering near the tracks where the tragic event took place. (recounted by Susanna Welisch, née Loy)
12. Theresia Kraus's children loved her dearly, and she them. Nonetheless she occasionally found it necessary to get after them with a switch, although they were by now young adults. How to continue a respectful stance to their mother and yet break her of her punitive habits was left up to the resourceful son, Karl.
The next time his mother chased him with a switch, Karl simply took it out of her hand, pinned both her arms against a wall and grinned at her. After each tirade out of her mouth, he kissed her on the cheek and continued to grin, saying not a word. Physically unable to break her son's grip and seeing the futility of continued haranguing, Theresia finally bowed to the inevitable. Her children were now adults and had to be treated as such. (recounted by Josefine Schaffhauser, née Kraus)
13. Three daughters of Wenzel Kraus of Paltinossa had immigrated to the United States, all no doubt thinking they would someday see their father again. Each in time had found a mate in the United States and had children of her own. One morning the mailman delivered a black-bordered envelope postmarked Paltinossa, which they immediately recognized as an announcement of death. Upon opening it, their worst fears were confirmed: their father, Wenzel, had passed on.
Sefi, Fanny and Dolly now began to reminisce about their father, recounting stories from their childhood, recalling things he had said and done, and expressing their love for him. Then Dolly said, "I'm glad you two don't hold it against our father or me that I was his favorite." "What," said Fanny, "you? That is about the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard. By far and away I was his favorite." Sefi could no longer contain herself. "I've never heard such nonsense," she retorted. "I was his favorite and everybody knows it, so why don't you two admit it?"
Reminiscent of the story of the three rings in Schiller's Nathan the Wise, each continued in the firm conviction that the father really had loved her the most. What higher tribute to a father than such sentiment on the part of his children! (recounted by Josefine Schaffhauser, née Kraus)
14. Toward the end of World War II, Adam Loy and his military unit were captured by the Soviets and transported to a labor camp in the Soviet Union. In early 1946 he was able to get a letter through to his wife, Cäcilie, who had fled westward to Saxony with her three small children. This letter gave Cäcilie the hope that with his return the homeless, disenfranchised refugee family would at last find relief from the bitter economic struggle for survival. After Easter of 1946, she dreamt of him often, but the dreams brought her no consolation.
Adam's mother, Karoline, had died during the war. In her dreams, Cäcilie always saw Adam with his mother, who was cutting up and cooking meat (a symbol of death). Moreover, although Cäcilie was a participant in the dream, neither Adam nor his mother ever looked at her. Eighteen months later her worst fears were confirmed: she received word that Adam had died in the GULAG. (recounted by Cäcilie Loy, née Loy)
15. When World War II was over, I was eight years old, the eldest of four children. Our father, Josef Loy had been killed in action in France the preceding year. We had been resettled in Silesia, but as the military front pressed relentlessly nearer, my mother, Angela (née Brandl) packed up her family and we joined the thousands, or rather millions, of refugees who fled to the west. May 8, 1945 found us in western Czechoslovakia, in what was then known as the Sudetenland. The borders were now guarded by Czech militia, which prevented us from proceeding into German territory.
The Czechs soon began forcibly to expel the Germans, both the native born Sudeten Germans and those, like us, who had been trapped in the country by the exigencies of war. Those from eastern Europe were repatriated to the land of their birth, although most did not wish to return. After we were packed into cattle cars, the transport began its tortuous eastward journey. Because of the poor condition of the tracks, the trip took three months. It was not unusual for the train to be stalled for weeks on end, at which time people foraged for food among a hostile population and buried their dead. The reception we received in Romania is another story. (recounted by Ewald Loy)
Visitors since May 1, 2002 Last Revised: 01/01/07 07:44:37 PM