GESCHICTE DER GEMEINDE ZICHYDORF
As you may recall, we acquired two additional copies of Johann Achtzener’s book about Zichydorf and asked the members what we should do with them. At our last meeting, we decided to place them both in the SGS library as lending copies. If you are not from Regina, you should be able to arrange for inter-library loan through your local library.
The Canadian Plains Research Centre at the University of Regina is compiling this book for the Saskatchewan Centennial in 2005. I have made a submission about Zichydorf Colony, south of Regina, but I don’t know how much will make it past the editors.
At our last meeting we discussed the historical plaque program of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society. We decided that I would investigate participating in this program to recognize the large number of Zichydorfers who pioneered in the Regina area. Our cost would be $300-$400. We would likely raise funds through separate donations rather than use any of our operating funds. This will be resolved in the future when we have more information and can consult the membership.
I considered three sites. The site of Zichydorf Colony south of Regina is on a grid road, three miles off the nearest highway. Although it is a significant site, it’s visibility would be very low. The church at Rowat, where many members of the colony attended church is on the main highway south of Regina. This is a pretty visible site with some historical merit, but I have some concern about how long a small country church will survive in today’s environment. The site I favour is the Victoria Club property on one of Regina’s main streets. Many founding members of this club were Zichydorfers. A monument at this site could recognize Zichydorfers (and Gyogyhazaers) from Regina and area. The club manager has contributed a generous donation, but has some concerns about such a project due to their own intent to completely renovate the site. I will continue to pursue this option for the time being in hopes of working out an agreeable solution. Any comments?
NEW AT THE LIBRARY AND ON THE WEB
At our last meeting, we decided to purchase several books. The four that I have been able to examine are reviewed later. I have not yet seen the other two, but I will review them for the Spring newsletter. The ones I have not seen are Nemesis at Potsdam which deals with the decisions of the Allies that led to the ethnic cleansing of the Donauschwaben, and Leidensweg der Deutschen im kommunistischen Jugoslawien, Band IV which is a compilation of Banat Germans who were killed or went missing during and after World War II. It has quite a bit of personal information.
Dave Dreyer, an avid researcher in the US, has done extensive extractions of Donauschwaben in North Dakota and in the Baltimore passenger records. Try these web sites to check Dave’s data:
http://www.feefhs.org/banat/dufk/zichydor.htmlÃ‚Â – Zichydorfers in the Familien Kalendar
http://www.feefhs.org/banat/bdb/1900ndbi.htmlÃ‚Â – North Dakota Banaters in US census
http://www.feefhs.org/banat/bdb/nbanship.htmlÃ‚Â – North Dakota Banaters in passenger lists
http://www.feefhs.org/banat/bspr/zichydor.htmlÃ‚Â – Zichydorfers in US Customs & Immigration records
http://www.feefhs.org/banat/bremen/misc.htmlÃ‚Â – Banaters in Bremen shipping records
The Whip My Homecoming by Traudie Mueller-Wlossak is the story of one woman’s struggle in post-war Yugoslavia. Traudie had actually escaped to Germany with her two young children before the arrival of the Red Army, but she jumped at the first opportunity to return home when hostilities ceased. Unfortunately, she was detoured into a concentration camp and separated from her children. Her story of starvation, cold, disease and brutality is truly a horror. Eventually, Traudie escaped and joined her husband in Austria. Although she sometimes seems a little too heroic, persevering when all around her have given up, I suppose that is why she survived and many others did not. I would recommend this book to anyone who wonders where we would be if our ancestors had not come to North America.
A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing Of The East European Germans, 1944-1950 by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is a more detached and scholarly look at the circumstances of Germans in eastern Europe after the War. Although authored by a renowned scholar of this subject, this book is very readable. The author explains how so many Germans came to be living in eastern Europe and the political and social environment in which they found themselves. Much of the book, however, is a collection of first person accounts by people who survived the advance of the Red Army, the retribution of the local people, and the internment camps. Although the book deals with all of eastern Europe, there is a section devoted to the Donauschwaben beginning on page 94.
Barefoot In The Rubble by Elizabeth B. Walter offers a different perspective on the post-war experience. Elizabeth was only four years old when her family was interned and her father was sent to Russia. She tells her story through some vivid memories of her own as well as events related to her by her parents and other relatives. She accepted starvation, cold, sickness, and death as part of normal life because she was too young to remember anything different. Despite all their hardships, children still played, even though their only toys might be rags, sticks and bits of string. When the family escaped and was reunited in Austria after almost four years, she discovered a whole new world of wonderful pleasures, even though they remained poor. She asks, “What is butter?” and “Who is father?” as they journey to Austria. She later experiences for the first time things that children normally take for granted, like her first rubber ball and her first tastes of lemon and chocolate. As a point of interest, Elizabeth was from Karlsdorf, about 25 km south of Zichydorf, so her experiences must approximate those of our relatives and friends.
The Innocent Must Pay by Maria Horwath Tenz offers yet another perspective of the post-war treatment of the Donauschwaben. Maria was just entering her teens when her ordeal started and she faced most of it without the support of her family. As the Red Army approached, her family sent her off with the retreating German troops. Her convoy was overtaken and she was interned. Eventually she was reunited with her family in Rudolfsgnad, where many Zichydorfers were also interned. Unfortunately, her family soon perished and she was again on her own, although other camp inmates tried to help her. She experienced many beatings and narrowly escaped sexual assault many times.
ST MARY’S CHURCH RECORDS
John Hugel is planning to extract Zichydorfers from the St. Mary’s Church microfilm over the winter, but could use a helper. He plans to have one person read the records to the other who will do the recording. It should go much more quickly this way. If you can help, give John a call at 789-1643. Several others in our group have undertaken similar projects to benefit us all. Is it your turn?
REGINA BRANCH MEETING
Regina Branch will meet at 2pm on Sunday September 20, at St. Timothy School, 280 Sangster Blvd. Mark your calendar and please join us. Bring some Zichydorf friends. Our theme is old pictures. Bring all your old pictures of family, friends, and events in the old and new worlds. Maybe someone has a picture that includes your family members or vice versa.
A PLANDISTE CONTACT
I have made contact with a man in Sweden who was raised in Plandiste (the Serbian name for Zichydorf). He recently visited and videotaped the old German cemetery on European format tape. I will have the tape converted and placed in the library in a few weeks. He has also agreed to write an account of his family’s arrival in Zichydorf.
ACHTZENER BOOK TRANSLATION
As many of you know, Johann Achtzener gave Liz Hugel of Regina the right to translate his two books about Zichydorf. He attached the condition that they be released together because the second book clarifies, enlarges, and corrects the first. I am happy to report that Liz has finished the first book and hopes to complete the second by Christmas. With any luck she will be able to offer copies early in the new year. I will keep you posted.
MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
We welcome all members, dues paying or not, for the knowledge they share with all of us. However, we hope members will voluntarily contribute to the cost of maintaining the group (website, mailings, etc.). We suggest a one-time donation of $25 CDN to the library fund plus an annual donation of $10 to run the association’s affairs. Canadian members will receive a tax receipt for the library donation from the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. Please contribute your 1999 dues in the near future.
Please add the following to your list:
John Molter, 2838 Sinton Ave., Regina, SK, S4S 1K3, 306-584-1293 (Molter)
Gary Niesner, 7022 Dalgleish Dr., Regina, SK, S4X 2M6, 306-585-2072 (Niesner)
Joan Shenher, Box 515, Assiniboia, SK, S0H 0B0, 306-268-4488 (Ortman, Shenher)
Please change Stephen Schultz’s address to Box 77, RR#4, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 3J7.
There are a few email address changes. If you have trouble, check the updated researcher list on-line.
I now have over 8,500 names in my database. Have you sent me your family tree? I may be able to link you with others and save you a lot of work.
All you computer users will understand the horror I went through when my hard drive recently crashed and the torture I am going through as I try to rebuild my life. Fortunately I had my genealogy data backed up and much of the ZVA info is retrievable from our website. Unfortunately, most of my other backups were pretty old. I am now trying to reconstruct dozens of text and data files, so please bear with me if I am a little slow to reply to any messages. And let that be a lesson to you!
Zichydorf Village Association News
edited by: Glenn Schwartz
2274 Baldwin Bay, Regina, SK, S4V 1H2