Discovering Our Links To Europe:
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Discovering Our Links to Europe: An International Genealogical Conference will be held at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on 19-21 July 2002. This exciting event is being hosted by the Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS), the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS), The Bukovina Society of the Americas (BSA), the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe "a Poland and Volhynia Genealogy Group" (SGGEE), and the East European Genealogical Society (EEGS). It is anticipated that it will attract an audience of several hundred people.
The conference will feature outstanding speakers from throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, and South America who will help people trace their family history to Europe. Workshop topics will include genealogical resources, research techniques, internet sources, and genealogical databases as well as updates on the latest developments on Family History microfilming in Europe. Panel discussions will focus upon what people need to know before they go to the library or archives, hire a researcher, or make a research trip abroad.
Your participation would be a valuable asset to the success of this event. Your initial program proposal must be submitted on the Call for Papers - Submission Form that appears at the end of this e-mail. All submissions must be received by 15 December2001. An initial roster of speakers will be selected by 10 January 2002 so that this information can be part of the conference insert of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Bulletin, the Bukovina Society of the Americas Newsletter, and other host journals.
All potential speakers will receive a letter of agreement including the following commitments:
· the presentation in full or in outline form will be prepared for the convention syllabus
· the syllabus entries be submitted on disk or e-mail by 15 April 2002
· the speaker’s biographical information and audio-visual equipment requests will be submitted with the letter of acceptance
· all lecture handout materials are the responsibility of the speaker
Speakers will receive the following considerations:
· registration and syllabus for presenting one lecture
· one banquet ticket for the second lecture
· a second banquet ticket for the third lecture
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to receive further information. You can read more about FEEFHS and the recent convention in Milwaukee at http://www.feefhs.org. We look forward to your participation in this exciting multi-ethnic event!
· The editors welcome comments as well as articles on Bukovina-related matters. In this manner we can better ascertain the concerns of our readers and expand our outreach to individuals interested in Bukovina, its history and its people. Whenever feasible, we will respond either to the individual directly or, if the topic expresses broader issues of a general nature, it will be given space in the pages of the Newsletter. Questions most frequently asked in the past have centered on: (1) who puts out the Newsletter, and (2) why does it lean toward the Germans. The Newsletter is the official publication of the Bukovina Society of the Americas, founded by Bukovinians of German decent in 1988 in Ellis, Kansas. Starting as a Bulletin sent to members on a periodic basis, it finally developed into its current format, by the Society’s President, Oren Windholz with input from members and otherwise interested individuals. A frequent contributor and founding board member, Sophie Welisch, was asked to edit the materials which, through the wonders of e-mail, can now easily be transmitted and submitted to our printer. At no time has membership been restricted to Bukovina-Germans, on the contrary, the Society has actively sought and continues to seek the participation of other ethnic groups. We encourage our members to disseminate information about the Society to any and all so we may collectively share our knowledge, interests and experiences relating to Bukovina. In the Austrian era Bukovina was known as a model for a united Europe, i.e., a territory where multinational peoples lived in cooperation and friendship. It is in this spirit that we seek to advance the Society’s programs and publications.
· Enclosed is the dues notice for annual members. We appreciate the response received each year on this only mailing of notices. We have keep the cost low so increases in dues are not warranted. Also enclosed is an insert detailing the Society’s publications and other memorabilia, just in time for the Christmas shopping list.
· We received numerous notes of sympathy from friends abroad as no doubt have many of our members. The following is a short quote from a lengthy tribute in The Week in Germany. “A tide of sorrow and disbelief swept Germany as news spread of the terrorist attacks that struck the United States Tuesday, September 11". German political leaders mourned the victims during a special session of the Bundestag and at a memorial service in Berlin Wednesday. ‘The people of Germany stand firmly by the United States of America in this difficult hour," stressed Chancellor Schröder in a formal government declaration. Berlin is ready to offer whatever assistance is needed, he added, including tracking down those who launched the assault and bringing them to justice.”
· This past summer, International Board member Irmgard Hein Ellingson wrote two articles, “ Bukovina Immigration to North America,” and “A Brief History of the Bukovina Society of the Americas,” which Professor Ayrton Gonçalves Celestino translated and presented at the University of Contestado at the Bucovinafest-Brazil 2001. With his permission the English and Portuguese versions of the article have been posted on the Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) web site.
|At the FEEFHS site:||At our own Bukovina Society site:
In 1998, Irmgard translated Konrad Gross's Alexanderdorf and Katharinendorf: Evangelical Lutheran Communities in Bukovina from 1863 until 1940. The translation was published in the quarterly Galizien German Descendants (GGD) and was posted online with the permission of the GGD and Irmgard. You can read it at http://www.feefhs.org/bukovina/alexdorf.html or find a link to it at http://www.feefhs.org/bukovina/buko-lib.html or at the our own Bukovina Society site at ..\alexdorf.html.
Please note that these materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or disseminated without the written permission of copyright holders.
· We received this mail from J. N. Hoffmann in Brazil: “Just to inform that I have recently updated the website http://www.bukovina.tripod.com/index_english.htm with some 50 photos (basically marriage photos of Bukovina descendants in Brazil).”
More photos will be included shortly.
· Werner Zoglauer, one of our members who attended the Brazil Bucovinafest, related an interesting contact he made while there. On a bus trip, he discovered that the driver was a lady surnamed “Weber.” Werner talked to her, hoping to establish her connection with the Bukovina Webers. She seemed emphatic, however, that she was not linked to this family group. After a bit of research by both parties they discovered that they indeed were fifth cousins!
Erwin Massier, "Abschied von
daheim," in Bukowina: Heimat von Gestern, ed. by Erwin Massier, Josef
Talsky and B. C. Grigorowicz, translated by Dr. Sophie A. Welisch (Karlsruhe:
Selbstverlag "Arbeitskreis Bukowina Heimatbuch," 1956), pp. 282-284.
Due to its length, the entire essay could not be printed in this edition. The first half of this article was published in the September 2001 newsletter.
At dawn, to our astonishment, we saw that the raw December night had fabulously transformed the earth. A delicately fashioned crystal covering of frost had spread over the fields and greeted the flood of caressing light from the roofs with sparkling playfulness. A morning for sore eyes, an Advent salutation for a longing heart!
The village awakened in the calm cool of the morning, now stirring and hurriedly preparing for departure. Five hundred souls obsessed with one idea, a thousand feverish hands doing the same thing: making the final sacrifice to the tyranny of the hour. With insatiable eagerness the crates and suitcases were piling up against the bare walls, severing a thread binding the heart to the homeland with every bit of space they occupied. Bedding, clothing, shoes, dishes and so many other sentimental items voluntarily shared space within the confines of the room. The hands of the clock ran their course undisturbed.
Finally the packed items were carefully loaded onto the wagons. As though on the way to market, they stood in the middle of the courtyard. Impatiently the unbridled horse in its stall waited for events to unfold.
One pretext or another led the family once again to enter the house. As by chance they suddenly found themselves gathering around the kitchen stove: Michael; his wife, Gret; her only son and heir, Franz; and grandfather already stooped with age. Three generations of died-in-the-wool Bukovinian farmers caught in the grips of the moment!
"Do we have everything?" Like a hammer blow the sobering question broke the stillness in the room.
"The fire," his wife retorted, "the fire in not yet out." And as through burdened by the words, it appeared as if he wanted once again to rekindle the dying embers of the extinguished flame to gnaw at their hearts.
Without saying a word the old man firmly grasped the water basin. A residue of clear moisture still covered the floor. The rings of the heavy plates ran together with a resonance as the glowing embers died out with a hoarse effusion. A cloud of steam and smoke enveloped the snow-white head. "It is out!" the bloodless lips, lost in thought, murmured. "Out, out, out," reechoed in the breasts of the mute witnesses. Four pairs of eyes stared into space, whereupon the haggard form of the old gentleman arose and, turning to the open door, he firmly uttered: "Come, children, in the name of God, let us go!" And they quietly followed him into the splendor of the day.
The sun was at the zenith. Gone was the enchantment of the frost. The fields lay grey and barren. Only the street overflowed with life. From all gateways and side streets the wagons drew near, arranged themselves effortlessly, and awaited the signal for departure.
The church tower gazed wonderingly at the strange goings-on below. A fantastic, kilometer-long serpentine column meandered and turned at its base in the dust. At the head of the column a flag bearer, in the rear in field grey (uniform of German soldiers) three men from the [Resettlement] Commission keeping step, then three-by-three as in imitation of those in uniform: the priest, the judge, and the teacher; then the light-footed youth and finally, one after another, the endless contingent of wagons. Always the same picture: at the head of the horse's deliberate step the head of the family, then the reins, next the oscillating shaft of the wagon, and high up on the wagon, warmly dressed, the wife, children, and the elderly gentleman. But behind the wagon, attired in linen and fur, the hired Romanian who at the station would then return with the empty vehicle.
In this fashion the column passed the tower on its way through town, disappeared behind rows of houses, reappeared again, finally turned from the village and vanished from sight. For a short time the sounds of the heavy wagons could be heard like the rumbling of thunder, then everything around the tower and the village became still.
Erwin Massier, "Lagerleben," in Bukowina: Heimat von Gestern, ed. by Erwin Massier, Josef Talsky and B. C. Grigorowicz, trans. by Sophie A. Welisch (Karlsruhe: Selbstverlag "Arbeitskreis Bukowina Heimatbuch," 1956), pp. 285-288.
Having arrived in Germany, a time began for the Bukovinians which in their wildest imagination was so unfamiliar that it became one of the most negative experiences for every last individual: camp life.
It only stands to reason that [permanent] resettlement in Germany could not follow hard on the heels of the removal [of the population], which had transpired so quickly. Not only did the late time of year present a problem, but also preparations for their permanent settlement had not been completed including their naturalization and the availability of homesteads to compensate them for their relinquished properties. Given the mass of settlers streaming into the country (some 200,000 including the Bessarabia and Dobruja Germans), this was no easy task. On the one hand, Germany was engaged in a decisive war, demanding its entire strength and vigilance; on the other hand, the East, which was intended as the relocation area, was already short of space, most of which had already been filled by the Baltic, Galician and Volhynian-Germans. Providing suitable homesteads would take time even for an authoritarian and radical government.
Until the preconditions for a final settlement could be made, the transferees had to be accommodated in camps. These were located in the southeastern territories of Germany. Since the northern Bukovinians traveled to Germany via Galicia, they were for the most part settled in Silesia, while the southern Bukovinians landed in Austria, Bavaria, Franconia and Thuringia. Gymnasia, boarding schools, convents and other buildings suitable for mass lodgings were occupied to their fullest capacity. Many thousands lived in wooden barracks.
All camps were under the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (VOMI: German Racial Assistance Office) in Berlin. Considered a transitional solution as far as room and board were concerned, the inmates had to adapt to institutional living arrangements. While in larger lodgings it was not unusual to find up to 150 people sheltered in one room (made possible by the three-tier bunk bed), individual families, depending on their size, occupied small quarters.
A camp leader was responsible for all functions relating to the camp. His duties included not only looking after details such as health facilities, supervision of the kitchen, and administration, but he was at the same time also a kind of political party officer with the task of indoctrinating the camp inmates in the ideology of National Socialism and winning them over to its objectives.
Medical concerns were also addressed. Every camp had a sickbay staffed by Red Cross nurses and a camp doctor on site. Larger camps were usually equipped with an infant care station, frequently even a kindergarten but seldom a camp school. Supplying the camp inmates with essential clothing, etc., was the responsibility of the NSV (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt = National Socialist People's Welfare Organization); since the transferees were provisioned en masse, they had no rationing cards for food or clothing, making the purchase of textiles, shoes, and the like impossible.
Room, board and miscellaneous needs were free of charge. Only those who worked had to contribute to their upkeep. Those not employed received a weekly stipend of 3.50 R-marks (Reichsmark) as pocket money. To work was the duty of every healthy person. Jobs were obtained through the Labor Office. Anyone shirking his labor obligations without satisfactory reason was deemed to have committed an offense against his racial community and was considered a saboteur who could expect severe punishment.
The camp pass served as an inmate's identification. Aside from describing the owner's physical characteristics, it also had space for comments such as medical history, residence at various camps, inventory of possessions (from straw mattress to eating utensils), intervention of the NSV, work record, weekly stipend, and release from the camp for resettlement.
Discharge from the camp could take place only by prior approval of the Mittelstelle or the authorized staff. This was in principle not possible before naturalization and afterwards only for the purpose of [permanent] settlement. On the other hand there existed the prospect of a limited vacation and, upon application, relocation to another camp if indeed this were justified by job site or family reunification.
The first phase of camp life ended with naturalization. This brought the transferees a "by-product," which the authors of the action had not in the least anticipated. Before naturalization, an itinerant staff visited the camp, the so-called Durchschleusungskommission, to ascertain the blood type of all inmates (men as well as women starting with their eighteenth year) and tattoo it onto their left upper arm. All transferees later interned by the Soviets or who, after the capitulation of Germany, fell into the hands of the Soviets and in particular of the Czechs, were by virtue of this mark deemed to be members of the SS and had to endure much injustice.
Finally naturalization, which opened the door to permanent settlement and was in general handled in a forthright manner, also resulted in classifying the émigrés. Reviewed according to Aryan and racial origins as well as hereditary biological characteristics (so it was claimed at the time), they fell into the categories of Altreich-Fälle (A-cases) [Altreich = Old Reich, i.e., Austria and pre-1939 Germany] and Ost-Fälle (O-cases) [East cases]). The former, either individually or in family units, were to be accommodated in towns and villages of the Old Reich, while the latter would enjoy the "privilege" of settlement in the East (Warthegau, Danzig-West Prussia, Upper Silesia, etc., i.e., in lands annexed from Poland in 1939).
With the act of naturalization the Bukovinians became German citizens, which occasioned a special camp celebration. From the Naturalization Commission each new citizen also received an identification card known as the Rückkehrerausweis (returnee card), which, given its title, was interpreted as "German with reservations."
For many, the doors of the camp now opened. The A-cases were soon able to escape the stress of camp life. Many stayed in Austria; others found work as craftsmen with their families in the industrial areas of Bitterfeld, Salzgitter-Lebenstedt and Coburg. In any event they enjoyed freedom only briefly, since, unless designated as physically unfit, the men were inducted into the Wehrmacht. Many families were chosen for settlement in so-called Lower Styria, German-occupied Yugoslav territory around Marburg-an-der-Drau [Maribor-on-the-Drava in present-day Slovenia].
The fate of the O-cases varied. For the northern Bukovinians, camp life ended early. Farmers, craftsmen and other skilled workers in Upper Silesia found occasional work in well-paying jobs. It was otherwise for the southern Bukovinians, who first had to be brought to eastern resettlement camps from various locations. Only in individual cases were they settled in Danzig-West Prussia or in Warthegau. Given the gravity of their circumstances, many availed themselves of this opportunity. But a group of Swabians from the Radautz area remained steadfast. They did not want stopgap measures. After rejecting an offer to settle in the area of Przemysl [today in Poland], another solution presented itself. In the spring of 1943 they were sent to Lorraine [France]. Here they were assigned properties confiscated from so-called enemies of the state, thereby becoming the West-Fälle (W-cases).
In discussing the settlement of the Bukovinians, it is by no means the case that the camps in the East were completely vacated. A considerable number of Bukovina-Germans, because of various circumstances, still had not been permanently settled, among them many who had not been naturalized and who remained in the camps until the last days of the war. It was their lot to drink the goblet of camp life to its very dregs.
For the Bukovinians, however, whether caught in the snares of the camps for a short or a long duration, the experience left an indelible mark. To trace the human tragedies in all their myriad variations would be a worthwhile task for our literary generation.
The confusion of the final days of the war eventually reduced the Bukovinians both in the East and in the West to the homelessness from which they had started [in 1940]. For many, a new existence meant return to camp life and even today, sixteen years after the resettlement, camp and barracks' life are occasionally still a hard reality for our compatriots [by the late 1950s the camps were finally closed, the last residents having found permanent lodgings elsewhere--sw].
Who could have anticipated this fate during the promising exodus from the old homeland? Did even a scoffer expect this? Stamped on their naturalization papers in broad characters were the letters EWZ (Einwanderungszentrale = Immigrant Main Office). Upon seeing this, one of our quick-witted compatriots turned to his neighbor and noted: "Well, now we finally have it in black and white. We are the Ewig Wandernde Zigeuner (Eternally Wandering Gypsies)!"
Discovering Our Links to Europe:
An International Genealogical Conference 2002
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
19 - 21 July 2002
Short Description that could be printed in the program:
Audio-Visual needs (please specify):
State which level you consider your workshop to be: ____ Beginning ____ Intermediate ____ Advanced ___ All levels
Please copy and print the form, then complete it. The completed submission form must be returned no later than 15 December 2002 to:
2002 FEEFHS convention chair
Irmgard Hein Ellingson
Bukovina Society program chair
Visitors since September 20, 2002 Last Revised: 09/25/13 08:57:48 PM