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My name is Amanda and I was born in a small town in South Germany.
Some years ago I developed an interest in my family history and so I started to look for the far branched roots of my ancestors. I quickly realized that I knew very little about my ancestors. I had never given much thought to them. I knew almost nothing about the past of my grandparents and I knew nothing at all about my great-grandparents.
The desire to share the results of my genealogical research with others gave me the idea to create a website.
So my research journey began from where my ancestors emigrated:
- in Württemberg: Hiller from Nebringen, Bechtle from Höpfigheim, Blatter from Gundelfingen, Fieß from Mühlacker, Bosch from Asselfingen, Johs (Joos) from Loßburg, Kempf (Kämpf) from Walddorf (Altensteig, Calw, Württemberg), Stumm from Auingen, Groß from Oberstenfeld,
- in Bavaria: Schmucker from Offingen, Fuchs from Wasserburg, Klein from Gundremmingen and
- in Baden: Blatt and Gabert from Lützelsachsen at the end of the 18th century.
House of my great-great-great-grandfather Christian Leonhard Bechtle in Höpfigheim,
where he lived with his wife and 8 children before he immigrated to Bessarabia.
His name is carved above the door in this photograph taken by my Father in the 1960s.
Then the trip continued crossing Royal Prussia, toward Bessarabia, where my parents were born, and it ends with their return, one and a half century later, in Baden-Württemberg, where I was born.
Bessarabia in Europe
Bessarabia was a historical region in Eastern Europe to the north east of Romania. From 1812 to 1917 this zone belonged to the Russian Empire and was sparsely populated. Alexander I of Russia populated Bessarabia with German colonists from south-west of Germany and from the Royal Prussia and promised them various privileges.
My father was born in 1921 in Sofiental (today: Ukrainian: Sofiyivka, Софiївка; Russian: Stawrowa) and my mother was born in 1924 in Gnadenfeld (today: Ukrainian: Blahodatne, Благодатне; Russian: Bladodatnoje) (see my photogallery) Both villages are located in the most eastern part of Bessarabia. (See the map here below)
Gnadenfeld and Sofiental in Bessarabia
On 28th June 1940 the Russian Red Army occupied the territory of Bessarabia. On 5th September 1940 the resettlement contract "Return in the Empire" was conclude and in the middle of October 1940 the resettlement began toward the German Reich.
My relatives left their villages in carriages and crossed passed through the cities of Sarata, Bolgrad and Reni where they arrived on 21th October. There on 23th and 25th October October they travelled went on the ships "Grein and Saturnus" and continued their voyage up the Danube to Zemun (near Belgrade).
They then travelled through Next stops were cities like Villach, Graz, Vienna, Ostrov (Czech Republic) Krotoschin in the Warthegau (now Poland) were they arrived in autumn 1941. In the Warthegau they remained till January 1945 because when then they had to flee from the Russians red army advancing of toward west.
Resettlement of Germans from Bessarabia
In this exodus my grandparents on my mother's side remained in Saxony-Anhalt while my paternal grandparents wished to return in their origin places in Württemberg.
My father, now a German front-line soldier, was captured by the Russians on 28th January 1945 and taken to came to a prisoner war camp in Segescha which is situated between Finland and Russia (Karelia). He remained there until his release where he was set free only in April 1949.
P.S.: I would be have pleased if you send to have your comments and suggestions. You can use my guestbook here.