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Heimatkalender 1990: Jahrbuch der Deutschen aus Bessarabien: 41 Jahrgang

Book review by Victor Knell, Fargo, North Dakota

Heimatkalender 1990: Jahrbuch der Deutschen aus Bessarabien: 41 Jahrgang. Stuttgart, Germany: Landsmannschaft der Bessarabiendeutschen, 1990.


In the 1990 yearbook, the 41st issue, the Germans from Bessarabia organization has produced its annual publication of personal remembrances of the Russian homeland, village histories, ancestor research and poetry. The collection of articles is an interesting and informative look at how the Germans lived in Russia for more than 125 years.

The first section of the book is an almanac giving daily Bible readings and a short historical capsule for every month of the year.

Zum Umschlag A short article on some small and little known German settlements and churches in Bessarabia.

1940-1990 Fünfzig Jahre nach der Umsiedlung (1940-1990 Fifty years after the Resettlement) Emil Seitz. A look back and a review of the resettlement of the Bessarabian Germans to Germany in 1940.

Unsere Landsmannschaft und ihre Aufgaben (Our Countrymans organization and its problems) Arnulf Baumann. An address about the Bessarabian organization at a meeting in Hannover, outlining the purposes for which it was established.

Wie ich aus Rumänien umgesiedelt wurde (How I was resettled from Rumania) Alfred Thilemann. A personal account of what they had to do and go through during the resettlement to Germany in 1940.

Oma und Opa erzählen von der Flucht 1945 (Grandma and Grandpa tell about the flight in 1945) Martina Wursthorn. A grade school girl interviews her grandparents, for a class project, about the flight from West Prussia, when the Red Army drove them from their home in 1945.

Die Flucht bei Schnee un Eis aus dem Warthegau nach Hermannsburg (The flight in the snow and ice from the Wartheland region to Hermannsburg) Hermine Wernick. The remembrances of fleeing from the Russian Army in the snow and ice on January 20, 1945 from the Wartheland region in occupied Poland to Hermannsburg in Germany.

Erlebnisse einer jungen Mutter (Experiences of a young mother) Hulda Kober. A person born in the colony of Lichtental, recounts how as a young mother she made her way from Wartheland, Poland to Germany with the help of people along the way.

Der Treck der Frau Berta Emmerich (The road taken by Mrs. Berta Emmerich) Alfred Thilemann. Another story of fleeing form the Russian Army from occupied Poland.

In Gefangenschaft (In Captivity) Guido Fano. Life in an American prisoner of war camp in Germany after 1945.

Berlin 1936: Reichsdeutsche Studentin spricht über ihre Reise zu der bessarabiendeutschen Volksgruppe (Berlin 1936: A German student talks about her tour of the Bessarabien German ethnic people) Robert Kienzle. In 1936 a group of students from Berlin toured the German villages in south Bessarabia for two weeks. One of the young ladies wrote a paper about this sightseeing trip for a university course.

“bekümmern sie sich nicht”: Die Zwischenstation Polen der bessarabischen Auswanderer (Don’t be troubled: The way station Poland for the Bessarabian migrants) Ludwig Layher. From 1780 to 1798 some 1200 families from Württemberg migrated to West Prussia (Poland). After Bessarabia was opened up for settlement in 1813 many of these families migrated to Russia. Given is a song about this movement.

Das grosse Bauernwandern (The great peasant migration) Erwin Heer. An account about the large number of German farmers that settled in Russia.

Heimatlose Deutsche Errinngerungen aus dem Kriegsjahr 1918 – Bei schwäbischen Kolonisten in Südrussland – Die Leiden der deutschen Kolonisten von Adolf Herdegen (Homeless Germans: Reminiscence of the war year 1918 – by Schwabian colonists in south Russia – The suffering of the German colonists by Adolf Herdegen) The title of the account is self descriptive.

Heimat im Osten: Die Wolgadeutschen Zuerst gerufen – dann verschleppt (Homeland in the east: The Volga Germans – First called – Then deported) Robert Kienzle. A very interesting and informative account of the invitation of the German settlers to the Volga region, their colonization, and their later deportation to Siberia in 1941.

In memoriam Paster Erwin Meyer 1915 – 1988 (In memory Pastor Erwin Meyer 1915 – 1988) Emil Seitz. A tribute to Pastor Meyer, born in Arizis, Bessarabia, and his work with his country people till his death in 1988.

Ilse Meyer, nun auch in Noten gesetzt (Ilse Meyer, now even placed in notes) The story of a Bessarabian German poet, who’s rhymes have now been set to music.

Bilder und Gestalten aus meiner alten Heimat Küsterlehrer Julius Erhardt (Images and shapes from my old homeland, sexton/teacher Julius Ehrhardt) Hans Nimmerruh and Rudolf Zeiler. Reminiscences of a typical Bessarabien Germany colony school teacher.

Und sie hatte auch ihr täglich Brot! (And she also had her daily bread!) Emil Brickmann. How a widowed mother managed to survive after her married son and his family took over the farm.

Warten an Silvester (Waiting on New Year) Eva Hönick. Some thoughts about the coming year.

Den Horizont und Himmel weiten (The horizon and Heaven in the distance) Christian Idler. A well known Bessarabian writer has some thoughts of his old homeland and the people who used to live there.

Meine erste Bahnreise nach Siebenbürgen 1935 (My first train ride to Siebenburgen 1935) Erich Kallmeier. In 1935 Bessarabia had a poor harvest and many families did not know how they would make it though the winter. The German settlements in Rumanis had food and they offered to take some children for the winter. This is a story of the children’s ride to their winter home.

Wenn du durchs Wasser gehst (When you go through the water) Rosalie Winter. At the start of World War I, in 1914, some German citizens living in Russia and also some German–Russians were deported to Siberia. This is a story about some of those people.

Winter in Bessarabien (Winter in Bessarabia) Wolfgang Haase. This article tells what needed to be done to prepare for winter in Bessarabia.

I möcht amol wieder en Wernerschüler sei (I would again like to be a pupil at the Werner School) Albert Rüb. A poem remembering how it was to attend the Werner School in Bessarabia.

Kora, Eine treue Hundefreundin auf unserem Hof in Westpreussen (Kora, a faithful dog on our farm in West Prussia) Arnold Lukas. An account of life on a farm in West Prussia, where some of the Bessarabians were resettled after leaving Russia. On this Polish farm a dog was to become a faithful friend to the farm wife.

Speckulation auf der Truppsche (Speculation on the Truppsche) Doing a little speculation on the rye crop, because the farmer needed money for his land.

Ein Brief brachte es and den Tag (A letter brings it to light) Herbert Weiss. A story of how, during the war, a misdirected letter causes worry.

Der fast neue Hut (The almost new hat) Hugo Schneider. A story about an almost new hat at a funeral. Written in dialect.

Die “bleeden” Socken (The ______ socks) H. Schneider. Another story in dialect about some socks that were almost worn out.

Langwierige Ahnenforschung mit erfreulichen Erfolg – Rückkehr in die Urheimat der Ahnen nach über 200 Jahren. (Lengthy ancestral research with happy results: Return to the ancestral homeland of 200 years ago) Wilhelm Adam. Tracing a family from the Palatinate in Germany to Krasna in Bessarabia and some suggestions and helps on how to do family research.

125 Jahre Ryschkanowka (125 years of Ryschkanowka) Hugo Häfner.
The 125 year history of a German colony on privately owned land in Bessarabia.

Wittenberg 1815 – 1949, 175 Jahre (Wittenberg 1815 – 1949, 175 years) Paul Rath. A history of Wittenberg, one of the oldest mother colonies in Bessarabia, complete with a listing of settlers and the locations from which they came.

Ortsjubiläen (Village Jubilees) Hugo Häfner. A collection of German villages in Bessarabia having anniversaries, with a listing of settlers, and then a list of people that migrated and the dates and where they went.

The 1990 Jahrbuch is a wonderful gathering of reminiscence of life in one time German Bessarabia.

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