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Success Story

An example of a family reunion

On this page, we describe a DRK tracing service family reunion, using the Schmidt family as an example. The names have been changed for data protection reasons.

Family history

Odessa and its environs

Family Schmidt lived in Freudental, a typical German village in southern Ukraine. The parents had 7 children born between 1912 and 1931.

Relocation in the Warthegau

 

In 1944, they had to leave their home under the supervision of the German Wehrmacht and arrived in Warthegau.

Deportation, Repatriation

 

In 1945, the family fled to Saxony. The mother and six children were captured by the Soviet authorities and were separated and sent to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Siberia, where they were placed in camps.

Hermann managed to escape and stayed in the Federal Republic of Germany. He tried to trace four of his brothers and sisters in the 1950s and 1960s but could not find all of them.

At the beginning of the 1970s, he tried, without success, to bring three of his siblings to Germany.
Two actually managed to come at the end of the 1980s, one brother died in Kazakhstan.
Two other siblings came to the families of their partners in Germany.

In 2000, the five siblings that lived in Germany were being looked for by a brother in Kyrgyzstan. After more than 50 years, the DRK tracing service was able to help the siblings that were still alive get in contact with each other.

Schmidt familiy.

Resumes of the family members

The parents Wilhelm and Elisabeth

 
Schmidt, Elisabeth, neé Kernig,* 2.1.1894
Schmidt, Wilhelm, date of birth unknown
both born in Freudental/Ukraine

Children

Cäcilia, neé Zezilina, *1912
Amalia, *1916
Hermann, *1919
Johann, *1922
Christian, *1925
Oskar, *1929
Frida, *1931

The DRK tracing service knows nothing about Wilhelm. In 1944, Elisabeth sets off toward Warthegau with the children, some of whom are already married. Naturalised in Kalisch.

  • 1945 Escape to Saxony,
  • 1945 Deported to Kazakhstan, the family is partially split up,
  • In 1956 she completes the embassy questionnaire and submits her request to resettle to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Elisabeth dies in the 1960s, the DRK tracing service does not know the exact date.

Daughter Zezilina

Poof, Zezilina, neé Schmidt, *17.2.1912 in Freudental/Ukraine as Cäcilia
1930 Married to Poof, Christian, *1.4.1909

 

Children

Poof, Willi, *3.5.1938
Poof, Oswald, *6.5.1951

  • 1944 Trek to Kalisch/Warthegau, where they are naturalised,
  • 1945 Escape to Weinberg/Wittenberge,
  • 1945 Deported to Siberia,
  • 1956 Embassy questionnaire completed,
  • 1974 Permission to resettle to FRG,
  • from 1970 onwards Wysows for resettlement of brother Hermann received,
  • 1976 last Wysow,
  • move to the GDR in the 1980s.

Daughter Amalia

 
Kogel, Amalia, neé Schmidt, *17.3.1916 in Freudental/Ukraine
1938 Married to Kogel, Gustav, *26.8.1917

Children

Wetzel, Nelli, *25.4.1941, entry 1974
Kogel, Ewald, *30.10.1942, entry 1980
Kogel, Gustav, *27.11.1944, entry 1980
Kogel, Viktor, *3.5.1949, entry 1980
Kogel, Waldemar, *9.12.1950, entry 1988
Heiter, Valentine, *18.9.1954, entry 1987
Kogel, Johann, *22.4.1956, entry 1988
Kogel, Georg, *5.3.1958, entry 1987

  • 1944 Trek to Wurzelroden/Warthegau, naturalised in Kalisch/Warthegau,
  • 1945 Escape to Dölzig/Saxony,
  • 1945 Deported to Kazakhstan,
  • 1956 Embassy questionnaire completed,
  • 1975 admission permit for Federal Republic of Germany, 
  • from 1975 onwards, Wysows for resettlement of brother Hermann received,
  • 1987 Entry to FRG.

Son Hermann

Schmidt, Hermann, *1.10.1919 in Freudental/Ukraine

Released from the POW camp after the war in 1945, demobbed and remained in FRG.

  • 1961 Search and DRK for his sisters Amalie and Cäcilia via the place of origin file,
  • 1962 Search for sister Frida and brother Christian.
    The sisters are traced, the brother cannot be found.

In the 1970s, he tried to help his siblings to emigrate and had success in helping his brother Oskar in 1980.

When he received news in 2000 that his brother Christian was looking for him, he could not believe it at first because he had assumed he had died long ago. The joy after the initial disbelief was great.

Son Johann

 
Schmidt, Johann, *1.10.1922 in Freudental/Ukraine

    Children
     
    Schwarz, Klara, *6.3.1957
    Schmidt, Johann, *10.8.1958

      • 1944 Trek to Wurzelroden/Warthegau, naturalised in Kalisch/Warthegau,
      • 1945 Escape to Dölzig/Saxony,
      • 1945 Deported to Kazakhstan,
      • 1954 Married to Schwarz, Walentina, *5.12.1919.
      • 1956 Embassy questionnaire completed,
      • 1975 Admission permit for Federal Republic of Germany from 1975 onwards, Wysows for resettlement of brother Hermann received,
      • from 1982 onwards all emigration efforts came to a standstill,
      • 1988 only emigration applications for the wife and daughter, as Johann had died in the meantime,
      • 1990 Entry of the daughter Klara,
      • 1992 Entry of the wife.

        Son Christian

         
        Schmidt, Christian, *1925 in Freudental/Ukraine

        • 1944 Trek to Ulenflucht/Warthegau, naturalised in Kalisch/Warthegau,
        • 1945 Escape to Dölzig/Saxony,
        • 1945 Deported to Kyrgyzstan,
        • is searched for by brother Hermann in 1962,
        • is defined as a 'left-behind' relative of sister Amalia on entry in 1987 - address unknown.

        Daughter
         
        Palenka, Natalia, wrote a letter from Kyrgyzstan in June 2000 searching for the brothers and sisters of her father.

        Son Oskar

        Schmidt, Johann, *29.5.1929 in Freudental/Ukraine

           

          Children

          Schmidt, Irma, *11.12.1952
          Peters, Anna, *18.3.1954
          Schmidt, Peter, *22.10.1956
          Schmidt, Viktor, *7.4.1958
          Schmidt, Jakob, *5.1.1960
          Schmidt, Wilhelm, *8.12.1961
          Schmidt, Elena, *26.12.1963
          Schmidt, Oskar, *10.2.1966
          Schmidt, Eduard, *10.9.1968

            • 1944 Trek to Ulenflucht/Warthegau, naturalised in Kalisch/Warthegau,
            • 1945 Escape to Dölzig/Saxony,
            • 1945 Deported to Kazakhstan,
            • 1950 Married to Korb, Natalia, *22.5.1925.
            • 1956 Embassy questionnaire completed,
            • 1973 Admission permit for Federal Republic of Germany,
            • from 1973 onwards, Wysows for resettlement of brother Hermann received,
            • several interventions with the RK Moscow,
            • 1980 entry with wife and children.

              Daughter Frida

              Frese, Frida, neé Schmidt, *16.6.1931 in Freudental/Ukraine

                Children

                Heimann, Elsa, *19.9.1954
                Velker, Lidia, *1.10.1956
                Frese, Aleksander, *11.7.1958
                Frese, Waldemar, *15.3.1961, entry 1989
                Baier, Erika, *19.6.1970, entry 1991

                  • 1944 Trek to Ulenflucht/Warthegau, naturalised in Kalisch/Warthegau,
                  • 1945 Escape to Dölzig/Saxony,
                  • 1945 Deported to Kazakhstan,
                  • 1954 Married to Frese, Nikolai, *11.3.1931.
                  • 1956 Embassy questionnaire completed,
                  • 1974 Admission permit for Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 onwards, Wysows for resettlement of brother Hermann received,
                  • From 1980 onwards all emigration efforts came to a standstill,
                  • From 1988 onwards, process started again,
                  • 1989 entry with husband