Thursday, February 01, 2018

Random accomplishments of the week

This week I finished revising another journal article that will hopefully be published soon. I also submitted another journal article to a big name journal. I have no idea how that one will fare. I just hope it gets sent out to peer review.

Saturday, I have to go to Baghdad to pick up my Iraqi visa. Sunday I give my first test as opposed to quiz of the semester. I gave my first quiz on Tuesday. I haven't graded it yet.

A German academic currently working in the UK contacted me about Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan this week.


Rod Ratzlaff said...

Dr Pohl;
Forgive me; I’m unable to figure out how to email you directly so I’ll post this in comments. I’ve recently read most of your blog as well as several papers you’ve published on the history of Germans in the Russia/Soviet Union. My ancestry is Low German Mennonite; my ancestors lived in villages in Volhynia as well as the large Mennonite Molotschna Colony. Most left before the Bolshevik Revolution but a few stayed behind. I have traced some to villages near Kokshetau, to which they were deported in 1936, as well as Krasnaja Retschka in Kyrgyzstan.
Recently I’ve tracked a very closely related family to Germany. This family lived in the Molotschna Colony until 1943 when they were moved by the Nazis to Lankenau in the Warthegau. But so far I am unable to track them any further. Many Mennonites were moved farther west in very early 1944 and a great number of these were cataloged by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) ahead of efforts to move them to, primarily, Canada and Paraguay. The MCC still has these catalogs but unfortunately the family I seek is not listed. When I started researching this family I pessimistically assumed that they would have been repatriated to the USSR but now that looks more and more likely.
Can you give me any advice regarding how to move forward researching Germans repatriated into USSR after WWII? Could there be any hope in finding any trace of them? The family consisted of a middle-aged mother, her elderly parents-in-law, and her 3 young children. Would the Soviets have kept any records of names of the repatriated?
Thank you
Rod Ratzlaff

J. Otto Pohl said...

Rod Ratzlaff:

I don't have a whole lot of advice on tracking down individuals and people have been asking me similar questions for many years now. The archival records I deal with are of a more macro-level and have numbers rather than individuals listed. The special settlement counts by the NKVD of individual families would have names. But, I am not exactly sure right now where to find those. I'll look through some sources I have to see which archives they cite for that type of data if any of them have it. The number of Russian-Germans forcibly repatriated was around 200,000. So finding individuals could be difficult. Also there are organizations that do collect individual names and track individuals. Memorial in Moscow has a large data base of people repressed under Stalin. The German Red Cross tracing service may also be helpful in this regard. You can find my email addresses by clicking CV and then view CV at the following link