Lately I have added several new links to the Links directory and to our Online Library Reference Texts. Additionally I have been busy with the following:
- updating the post-1800 Church record available materials from the Zeyer ev. Kirche
- Ordered the final materials from the LDS Church for Zeyer ev. Kirche
- joined numerous Yahoo Groups on genealogy
- added a Guest Map – Visitor tracking function to this site
- transfer servers for this site and registered it under a new URL
- upgraded to version 2.8.6 of WordPress
We apologize for the rough performance of the ManyRoads site during this time. Because of the increased use and traffic on our site we are transferring everything to a new server, rather than continuing to limp along on an old PC located in our basement. Aside from providing us with more space, we should have a considerably improved internet connection (our little home office DSL was just not up to the task).
We have provided for a redirect of our old address http://manyroads.info to the new site and address http://many-roads.com. Please note that you should change any RSS Feed from this site to reflect our new address. Otherwise you will miss out on exciting posts like this one!
Please use our contact page should you encounter any difficulties with our conversion. Hopefully things will be running more smoothly soon.
25. Januar 1945
Heute musste meine Mutter mit mir und meinen 3 Brüdern das schöne Heiligenwalde verlassen. Mein Vater wurde in den letzten Kriegstagen noch zum Volkssturm eingezogen. Vorher hatte er mit seiner Landwirtschaft auch dafür Sorge tragen müssen, dass er in angemessenem Rahmen die Versorgung der Soldaten an der Front mit landwirtschaftlichen Lebensmitteln sicherstellte. More
Because of the great shortage of information and histories associated with the expulsions of Germans from Eastern Europe after World War 2, I am placing a call to anyone willing to share their family story with others.
Please contact me (use our contact page) with any histories that you may have from family members or elsewhere that involve the expulsion, flight or ethnic cleansing of Germans following the second world war. I will place the information you send (assuming it is not politically motivated) on the internet for others to view and share.
It is my hope to contribute a bit of our past in order to help others understand the unacceptability of and horrors associated with ‘ethnic cleansing’.
By Dr. Alfred de Zayas -The main speaker at the premiere of the documentary travelling exhibition ” In the Claws of the Red Dragon” in Pittsburgh [in 1999], organized in cooperation with Dr. Marianne Bouvier and B. John Zavrel,was Dr. Alfred de Zayas, a prominent expert in international law; he is an American of Spanish-French descent. After law school at Harvard, de Zayas went to Germany on a Fulbright fellowship, took doctorate in History at the University of Goettingen. He works as a legal consultant in New York and Geneva, Switzerland, and is the author of several books dealing with the subject of the Expulsion of Germans in Europe. More
Der folgende Bericht beruht auf Datenunterlagen des letzten Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Elbing Dr. Fritz Leser (in einigen Dukomentationen auch Dr. Hans Leeser genannt); Oberst a.D. Schöpfer dem letzten Kommandanten von Elbing und von Oberleutnant Curth Günther. Die Aufnahmen stammen aus russischen Wochenschauen. More
Alfred Neubert, Hannoversch Münden, Burgstraße 15/16, den 18. August 1946
23. Januar bis 10. Februar 1945
Die Verteidigung Elbings war voraussichtlich gedacht als eine vorgeschobene breitangelegte Sicherung der linken Flanke der Weichsellinie mit linker Anlegung an das Frische Haff, rechts angelehnt an die Verteidigungswerke von Marienburg. Die Stellung Elbings im gesamten Verteidigungssystem wurde als “Brückenkopf Elbing” bezeichnet. – Der um Elbing beabsichtigte Bogen der Verteidigungslinie war weit vorgeschoben, sollte z. B. bei Dörbeck, Rakau und die entsprechenden Entfernungen nach rechts fortgesetzt führen über Grunau-Höhe, Anschluß an den Drausensee finden und über Kerbswalde, Grunau-Niederung zum Anschluß nach Marienburg führen. More
Original Source (used with author’s permission)
Autor: Günter Mauter
Fast ein Kuriosum ist ein Teil der Geschichte der evangelischen Kirche von Zeyer. Als am 22. Januar 1920 der Kreis Großes Werder amtlich wurde, befand sich das Dorf Zeyer im Freistaat Danzig, während die Kirche und die Kirchenhäuser mit ca. 35 Bewohnern auf Elbinger Gebiet lagen. Die Nogat bildete die Grenze und die Kirche lag ja auf dem rechten Nogatufer, damit also im Elbinger Landkreis. Allerdings, und das ist auch bemerkenswert, lag das Pfarrhaus im Dorf Zeyer! More
20 October was a very productive day at the Family History Center. Aside from starting a bit late due to delayed keys, a lot of new information was discovered including:
- all the dates of birth and christenings for Richard Senger’s siblings were unearthed
- a previously unknown sibling for Richard was found, Theodor Senger
- birth dates and spouses for:
- Michael Senger (the younger)– Adelgunde Kiehl
- Michael Saenger (the elder) – Esther Euphrosine Landig (marriage record confirmed)
- Esther’s parents John Landig and Esche Euphrosina Hein were discovered
- 3 additional children of Michael Saenger & Esther Euphrosine were identified
- parents for both Michael Sengers
On 21 October the genealogical records reflecting the above plus more were modified; additionally, updated War death records have been added for:
- Willi Wedhorn
- Erich Recht
- Egon Recht
- Albert Senger
- Adolf Senger
I have just uploaded several new maps. Please enjoy! Feel free to download them for your own use.
- Danzig- 1910 (213)
- Danzig- 1918 (200)
- Elbing Landkarte- 1937 (258)
- Elbing Stadt- 1820 (206)
- Garnisonkarte von Mitteleurope- 1897 (189)
- German Orders Hanse 1400 (165)
- German Settlements 800-1400 (225)
- Handkarte Gross (203)
- Jungfer Landkarte#1- 1936 (191)
- Jungfer Landkarte#2- 1936 (145)
- Marienburg- 1910 (184)
- Ostpreussen 1882 (851)
- Ostpreussen Landkarte (1041)
- Poland 1799 (359)
- Preussen (212)
- Preussen Politische Uebersicht (190)
- Preussiche Holland Landkarte- 1944 (202)
- Rosengarten Landkarte- 1936 (142)
- Stolp- 1889 (137)
- Tiegenhof Landkarte- 1925 (176)
- West Prussia 1900 (245)
- West und Ost Preussen 1896 (275)
- West und Ost Preussen 1899 (811)
- Westpreussen (294)
- Westpreussen (0)
- Westpreussen 1882 (257)
- Westpreussen 1920-1945 (764)
- Westpreussen Handkarte (600)
- Zeyer Landkarte (155)
- Zeyer Landkarte- 1931 (174)
- Zeyervorderkampen (131)
- Zoppot- 1910 (145)
I have just posted new documents covering the subject of German Expulsions following World War 2. Although the subject is a touchy one, politically; it is an important subject with respect to the millions of people who lost their homes and were expelled (“Ethnically Cleansed”) following the defeat of Germany in 1945.
- Einsatz im Zwangsarbeitslager (72)
- Expulsion of German Communities (282)
- Expulsion of Germans after World War II (463)
- Flucht aus Ostpreußen (878)
- German Minority in Poland- origin, structure, expectations (22)
- Germans Displaced from the East (183)
- Integration/Assimilation of the Danube Swabians in the American zone in Germany after World War II (18)
- Niemand will vergessen (321)
- Post-WWII Expulsion of Ethnic German Civilians from Eastern Europe (406)
- The Debate about a Center against Expulsions: An Unexpected Crisis in German-Polish Relations? (335)
- The Expulsion of the German Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of the Second World War (212)
- The Expulsion of the Germans (34)
- The Moral Issue in the Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe (186)
- The secret plan of the 1952 displacements of the original inhabitants of Mazury (20)
- The War against German Culture (32)
Auszüge aus dem Text von Charlotte Kaufmann (used within terms of Fair Use)
Die schlimmste Zeit meines Lebens begann vor etwas mehr als 60 Jahren,genau im Januar 1945. Auch nach dieser langen Zeit sind die Narben nicht verheilt. Die Auswirkungen sind bis heute spürbar. Dieses Schicksal teile ich mit hunderttausenden Frauen und Mädchen aus den deutschen Ostgebieten, die noch vor Kriegsende vom russischen NKWD (Volkskommissariat für innere Angelegenheiten; zuständig auch für Angelegenheiten der Kriegsgefangenen und Internierten) verhaftet und dann zur Zwangsarbeit nach Russland verschleppt wurden. Dort mussten wir stellvertretend für das ganze deutsche Volk Reparationsleistungen erbringen unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen. Wir zahlten mit unserem Körper und unserer Seele für ein Verbrechen, an dem wir nicht beteiligt waren. More
Yesterday was the very first time I was able to view Zeyer Church records, courtesy of my local LDS (Mormon) Church Family History Center and the Salt Lake City, UT Genealogy LDS Offices.
I can hardly find the words to explain the experience. It was like a trip into the past. I had my very first opportunity to ‘meet’ people and touch the lives of some of the most important individuals in my life and my family’s lives. I found a photographic image (microfilm) of the official church record of my grandfather’s (Opa’s) birth and baptism. Items I had thought destroyed in the ravages in of World War 2 were available for me to read.
I can hardly wait to go back and learn more.
I highly recommend the materials and the service.
Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions we have had to make numerous history pages private. In deference to the author’s copyright, we are unable and unwilling to publicly share any information we obtain directly from Peter Gagne’s outstanding works. We do this out of respect for his outstanding efforts on our behalf. Quite frankly without his work, we would miss a significant body of knowledge regarding a significant portion of our early forebears in Canada.
I encourage and urge everyone with French Canadian roots to support Peter’s fine work by purchasing his texts. We have benefited greatly from his Filles a Marier and Filles du Roi works. These texts may be purchased from Quentin Publications.
For those who thought that WW2 was long over, a rude reminder of its horrors and brutality have once again surfaced in the former home of our Senger family. In just the past year, more than 2000 people were found buried in a mass grave. It is thought that all were killed/ died at the war’s end.
To learn more please visit the site dedicated to their memory.
An English article is at Der Spiegel.
This is the last unit in the Luftwaffe to which Luise Senger (Rabideau) belonged.
Chef des Stabes:
- Obstlt Eckhard Krahmer, 1.7.38 – 1.4.39
- Oberst Bruno Maass, 1.4.39 – 5.3.43
- Oberst Otto Petzold, 5.3.43 – 8.5.45
Formed 4.2.38 in München from Luftgau-Kommando XIV. More
DANZIG / GDANSK
This page is concerned with the history of the whole Danzig territory as set up in 1919, not only with the town of the same name.
(Please note the site from which this history was duplicated and edited no longer is functioning: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Rotunda/)
The homestead and lands had been in the Senger family since before 1893; when the home was built by Richard’s father and mother, Michael & Adelgunde Senger. The Senger farm was located on the banks of the Nogat River in Zeyervorderkampen (Kreis Elbing in Grosses Werder). At the time of the establishment of Freie Staat Danzig in 1920, the farm was the first farm inside of the Polish corridor as defined by the victorious allies of WW1.
Richard inherited the farm from his parents (Michael and Adelgunde) in 1920, the year of his and Frieda’s marriage. The 50 hectare Senger farm grew apples, cherries, plums, sugar beets, rye, and raised ducks, chickens, cows, pigs. During the Second World War, additional crops were grown as a requirement of the German government, these included rapeseed, poppies and wheat.Both Erich and Luise were born on the farm; Erich in 1921 and Luise in 1923. Their births occurred during the hyper-inflation years of the Weimar Republic. The hyper-inflation was so bad in 1923 that it cost Richard and Frieda and entire wheelbarrow full of money to purchase a pacifier for Luise.
Luise and Erich were baptized at the Zeyer Evangelishe Kirche (Lutheran); Herr Doebel was Luise Senger’s godfather. Later Herr Doebel became an early member of the National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiters Partei (NSDAP, Nazi); ultimately he was to become disillusioned and was imprisoned for his opposition to the NSDAP. It is believed that he served more than 5 years for his opposition (we continue to seek hard information on this event).From the age of 14, Luise Senger lived with her Onkel Robert and Tante Olga in Elbing on 58 Wasserstrasse (today: Wodna 58, Elbląg, Elblag, Polska) . In Elbing, she attended the Elbing Handelsschule. Robert & Olga Senger owned a small Gasthaus and store on the waterfront of the port of Elbing. Luise had a small room above the Gasthaus. The Senger Gasthaus had 4 guest rooms and was described as being ‘plain’ but friendly. During her years in Elbing at the Handelsschule, Luise used to take long walks to a nearby park (in the city); this is where she watched and ultimately met some of the musicians and other members of the ‘artists’ community who befriended her. Some of these same “artists” were to protect Luise when they met once again, this time in Munich during the final collapse of the Third Reich. “Onkel Robert and Tante Olga” were the family’s city dwellers. Throughout Luise’s youth, Luise and Erich Senger used to “smuggle” small amounts of food (fruit, wheat etc) from the Senger farm to Onkel Robert’s family, so as to avoid paying taxes to the government. One time, Onkel Robert reversed the trend and sent a bunch of bananas to the Richard Senger family in Zeyervorderkampen as a treat; Luise refused to even try the bananas; she had never seen anything like them before!
During the first years while Luise was living with Onkel Robert’s family in Elbing, her cousin Erika and Erika’s husband (Otto Grawert) and their son Karl-Otto came to live with the Robert Senger family. The Grawert’s came from their home on the Dutch border on a doctor’s recommendation. Erika, Robert and Olga’s daughter, had a severe case of TB and the cold, moist air of Elbing was supposed to help her heal. Erika especially enjoyed the Gasthaus and the customers who frequented it. She and Luise became very close friends.
From 1937 through much of the second world war (WW2), the Richard Senger farm was quite successful. The daily routines continued; the work was hard and the crops were quite good.During the war years, the Sengers were required to host English prisoners of war. One PoW stayed the entire war; his name was Tommy (last name unknown). He had been captured at Dunkirk and arrived in Zeyervorderkampen at the age of 17. Tommy remained with the Sengers up until the time the Russians took possession of the farm in 1945. He escaped just ahead of the advancing Soviets and Poles by foot towards the North Sea (following the route recommended to him by Richard Senger).
Once the war began, Richard’s son, Erich, fought in the Deutsche Luftwaffe as a rear-gunner in a Stuka. He fought and was shot down on both the Eastern (including Georgia and Stalingrad) and Western (France) fronts. In 1944, Erich was taken prisoner by the British when his plane was shot down over France (it is believed). By the early 1940′s Richard’s daughter, Luise, was a administrative aide and Lieutenant in the Luftwaffe, ending the war assigned to Luftkommando 7 München (air defense Munich).
With all of Zeyer’s young people at war, the farm was managed and operated by the two ‘closest’ Senger brothers (Richard and Rudolf) and Richard’s wife Frieda and Frieda’s sister Erna. Finally in March/ April 1945, the family lands and property were confiscated by the Russians.
composite of verbal stories related by Luise Senger Rabideau to her children Linda & Mark
Swiss blood runs in your veins. In fact, Pierre Miville, your ancestor, was born in 1602 at Fribourg in Switzerland. Married there in 1629, he crossed over to Canada in the spring of 1649 with his wife and six children. He received a grant of land on the coast of Lauzon across from the Plaines of Abraham, today near Patton road in the parish of Saint-David- de-l’Auberivière.
He was in Canada in 1636 and in 1641, he already had a farm near the Rivière aux Chiens (river of dogs). His marriage contract of July 27 1636, (one year after the religious ceremony) which was concluded in the house of Robert Giffard and executed by Jean Guyon du Buisson in the absence of a notary, is the oldest marriage document preserved in the original in Canada. It seems that he is the ancestor of all Drouin in the country.
I am not certain if there will be multiple posts here or simply one on-going post. Either way, I think it is worthwhile sharing some thoughts on ‘doing genealogy’ work.
The first thing I noticed when I began tracing genealogical information is that there is lots of it! Some is easy to find, some is not. It is a curiosity to me that everything you really want or need seems to be missing. I am pretty sure that means, or perhaps better said, it almost seems there is a conspiracy out there somewhere. Somehow crucial information is always lacking. This generally means the genealogist (me or you in this case) has to make decisions using imperfect information. As a result there can, and almost certainly there are, errors in every genealogy.
So what causes these problems? Well in my limited experience there are a number of reasons why information can be ‘lost’ or corrupted:
- Wars. Wars seem to be a major cause of information destruction. Obvious, I know. But for me that is a huge problem. Much of my mother’s family comes from an area where there were lots of wars (Prussia). As a result, we lack big chunks of information. And worse yet, the information trail does not go very deep into the past.
- Poverty. It seems that poor people do not have the funds for keeping good records. I know that’s obvious but it is frustrating. If you happen to have the misfortune of having ancestors that lived in a poor region or during bad economic times, there will most certainly be a shortage of facts.
- Illiteracy. People who can’t read and write, are not very good at record keeping. I guess that ought to be obvious.
- Time. Old things are hard to locate. Histories and stories, not to mention official records, seem to deteriorate over time. In the engineering and physics world this is called entropy. Entropy is a major reason why good information is difficult to obtain. Things simply disappear…
Certainly there are other reasons why it is difficult to gain good information. But these are the items that seem to block my efforts most often.
In late winter of 1944/45, the Senger’s farm was overrun and occupied by a command of the advancing Russian armies. The family furniture and possessions were stolen by non-Germans; the lives and history of the Senger family were unalterably, irretrievably changed.
Only the Senger farm and two other farms in the village of Zeyervorderkampen remained standing following the Soviet invasion and bombardment and artillery attacks which accompanied the destructive attack. Ultimately, the Senger farm was left as the sole ‘undamaged’ farm in Zeyervorderkampen. At first, the farm was used to house Soviet commanders; ultimately, possession of the farm, lands, buildings and few remaining possessions were given over to a Polish family.
By the middle of 1945, it was no longer the Senger family farm and lands. The farm had been confiscated by the occupying communist troops and retribution was never offered by either the invading armies or subsequent settlers; nor was any accepted by Richard when it was finally offered by the post-war German Federal Republic government. To his mind, there was simply no compensation adequate to cover the loss of his family’s lands and history. Ultimately, the German government did provide Richard a pension for both his WW1 and WW2 ‘participation’.
Having lost ownership and possession of his farm to the Russians in 1945, Richard was forced, at gun point and under explicit threat of death, to work as an involuntary servant (knecht) or ‘slave’ on his long-time farm. During this time, his wife, Frieda, was captured, incarcerated, and forced by the Russians to leave their home and was interred as a slave laborer in the Gulags of the Central Asia in Chelyabinsk ITL (Work Improvement Camp). Frieda was arrested and enslaved by the Soviet Army on March 17, 1945 (Her 47th birthday was two days later on 19 March 1945.). These hardships and travails were to continue for more than two years.
During this same time period, unbeknownst to Richard, his son (Erich Senger) was interred in an English prisoner of war camp; his daughter (Luise) had survived the war’s end and was working in the American Zone of Germany, in Bavaria.Finally one day in June of 1947, at the age of 68, Richard could tolerate his situation and servitude no longer. He resolved to leave or die trying. To his mind he had nothing to lose; so far as he knew he had already lost everything except his life. He packed his few papers and possessions into a coffee can and set off on foot, to reach the West German border. As he left what had been his farm, Russian soldiers shouted, pulled their rifles, took aim at his back, and threatening to kill him. Unwilling to suffer his situation any longer, he walked on into his uncertain, unknown future.
He trekked alone on foot across ‘the new’ communist Poland, and then through the ‘new’ communist East Germany. During the weeks and months he walked, he survived by eating uncooked potatoes and vegetables he gleaned from harvested fields. In Poland, his official identification papers and bank books were confiscated by ‘officials’ at the checkpoints he encountered. Finally after an almost 600 mile ordeal, Richard arrived at Murnau in Bavaria (the American Zone).
Shortly after his arrival in Bavaria, Richard began a search for his son Erich via open letters he placed in German newspapers. He only searched for his son Erich because he thought Erich might have survived the war; he was certain that Frieda (Richard’s wife) had died in the Gulags and that Luise (Richard’s daughter) had been ‘lost’ in the final defense of Munich (where Luise was serving as a Lieutenant in Munich’s Air Defense with Deutsche Luftwaffe- Luftkommando 7.). Fortunately, Erich, having returned from his incarceration as a British (Prisoner of War) PoW in 1947, read one of his letters and they were reunited. During late 1947, Luise found and rejoined her family through the good offices and assistance of her employer- the American Army.
Late in 1947, his wife, Frieda weighing a mere 60 pounds, returned from her two plus year ordeal in the Russian gulags. Miraculously, the family had found each other.
Along with their son Erich, the Sengers built a new life for themselves in Bavaria. While in 1950, Luise went on to live with her American husband (Fred Rabideau) and their soon-to-be new family in the United States.
a composite of verbal stories related by Luise Senger Rabideau to her children Linda & Mark, as well as Russian, German and American Documentation
As the Russians invaded West Prussia near the end of World War 2, they rounded up abled bodied Germans to ‘work’ a slave labor in their Gulags. These ‘unlucky’ Germans (some three million) were shipped by train to forced labor camps in the far East. Frieda Senger, along with her friend and neighbor, Edith Ebel, were among those shipped by rail into the Russian Gulags; in her case trip was to prisons some 1700 miles or 2700 kms east. She, like many others, was deported from her and her husband’s lands (which were now in the hands of the Russians) and forced into slavery; she was not seen or heard from again for some 2 and one half years.
She was taken a prisoner by the Soviet Army on March 17, 1945. She had been a member of the Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB) since 1935 (see note 1 below). On July 7, 1945 she was transfered from the camp 507 (Cheljabinskaja region/ Satkinskij district/ village Bakal) to the working battalion No.1083 (Cheljabinskaja Region/City Kopejsk/ Station Potanino) of mobilized Germans. She was discharged for repatriation on July 1, 1947. Her diligence, hard work and energy made it possible for her to be one of the first Germans released from the camp. Her friend Edith Ebel was not so lucky- Edith died in the camp. Frieda’s two plus years were spent mining rock salt, cleaning the camp floors with broken glass (an activity which left her hands permanently scarred). Her diet consisted of water, cabbage and potatoes.
Based upon research conducted on our behalf by the Deutsches Rotes Kruez we finally know the names and location of the Gulags in which she was interred. Until we find better photos, Perm in the Urals provides a reasonable example.
On 9 October 2011, I received an additional insight into this time from the niece of Frieda Senger, Frieda geboren Wedhorn: [Frieda Wedhorn] [...] mentioned that the deportation of Frieda Senger might have been the result of a mistaken identity, that the Russians were looking for some other Senger, but they went to the wrong farm where they found Frieda Senger and they did not want to continue searching. Frieda Wedhorn remembers her Tante Frieda telling her that the Soviets probably were looking for Johanna Senger who was also called “Tante Hannchen” because she supposedly had not been nice to some Poles. Johanna was the wife of Julius Senger who must have been neighbors of Richard and Frieda Senger. The Soviets just went to the wrong house and discontinued their search because they had found a woman with the name Senger. This Johanna Senger later died of “Fischvergiftung” (fish poisoning) while still living in Zeyersvorderkampen, Westpreußen.
The photo is of Frieda Senger in 1951 following the marriage of her daughter Luise to Frederick Rabideau. She is wearing a coat sent to her by Leona Rabideau, mother of Frederick Rabideau.
The Reichluftschutzbund was placed under the authority of the Luftwaffe and performed mainly non-combat support roles such as ground crew training and search and rescue. The group remained relatively small and, as a paramilitary organization, was overshadowed heavily by the National Socialist Flyers Corps.
During World War II, the Reichluftschutzbund performed in air defense support manning anti-aircraft emplacements in Germany’s major cities. In 1945, the Reichluftschutzbund ceased to exist with the fall of Nazism. The Reichluftschutzbund, however, was not condemned as a criminal organization since the group was technically a branch of the Air Ministry and not a paramilitary group of the Nazi Party proper.
In order to classify our early Canadian forebears, we have decided to use the descriptions of The Filles a Marier developed by Peter Gagne.
Note all those without links will soon have information pages for you to read… please be patient while the information is added to our site. All others have their tales described on this site. We certainly appreciate all the work of those who provided us with their stories! More