Flight and Expulsion Stories and Pictures


Opa and Oma were both born in Kreis Schlochau. They lived on a farm, about 60 hectres, just across the lake from Prechlau. They raised cows, chickens, pigs, geese, and sheep. They also kept horses and goats. The crops that they raised where potatoes, rye, sugar beets, wheat and oats. They had 7 children, all born in Prechlau. The oldest was born in 1932 and the youngest in 1944. Opa was a heavy machine operator for the army and also manned a look out tower to watch for enemy airplanes.

Sometime in late February 1945 Oma and the children where visiting her mother in Förstenau. While they were there they heard on the radio that the Russians had broken through German lines and were advancing their way. They hurried home on the sled and Opa began preparing the wagon for them to leave. He put up a roof and filled the wagon with straw, along with some necessities and personal belongings. He then sent Oma and the children off to the Baltic Sea where they would try to could catch a boat to the west. He stayed on in Prechlau waiting for his orders.

Oma and a couple, traveling with them, (Probably one of Opa's brothers and his wife), drove mostly by night, because the planes would shoot at the wagons and people on the roads. They hid in abandoned houses by day. During this time a soldier looking for food or money stole a suitcase off the the wagon containing their personal papers. They pressed on and were able to get close enough to the Baltic Sea to hear the waves when the Russian over took them and sent them back to the farm. Later they were told that they were lucky to have not made it to the ships as most were bombed and many sank.

During this time Opa had left Prechlau and was captured and placed in an English prison camp. He was a prisoner for up to a year and a half and during that time Oma did not know were he was.

Oma then returned to the farm and stayed there until the Russians gave the farm to Poland and the polish people. During that time, before they left the farm for a second time, Oma was raped by a Russian soldier in the presence of the children. She became pregnant and later would have a baby girl.

After the farm was taken from her, she and the children moved into the town of Prechlau for a period of 3 - 4 months. During this time she was able to sell a few possessions and buy train tickets for the family to the west. Sometime during all this Oma's mother was accused of supplying the Germans with guns and was taken to prison. She was then shot by a firing squad.

Oma was able to get a train out of Prechlau. The people were put in cattle cars with little food, and water which came from the trains boilers. Many people became sick from the water. The cattle cars were packed so tight with people that all you could do was sit or stand. The soldiers would walk on the people to go through the car. Buckets were used as toilets. The train first took them to Stettin and after 4 or 5 days they got back on and went on to Berlin.

They stayed in Berlin for about a week in a school house with other refugees who were also trying to go to the west. While they were in Berlin they had little or no food and Oma's 5 year old daughter ran off to find bread. She wandered around and found a bakery but they shooed her on. A lady found her and brought her to a children's home where they tried to make her take a bath. She ran off and back onto the street where another lady found her and asked her where she was going. She explained to her about the school house and so the lady brought her there, but everyone had already gone. Oma had waited till the very last train but could not wait any longer, so had left the school house. The lady then took her to the train station where she was able to find her Oma and reunite her.

From Berlin the train took them to Wismar and then on to Krassow were Oma gave birth to the youngest in the family, a baby girl. From Krassow they were taken to a holding station called Durchgango-Lager. Everyone was made to shower and powdered for lice. Then they boarded the train again and were taken to Poeppendorf and on to Eckernfoerder. There they were taken off the trains and to busses waiting for them. There were also local people who had been told to take a family to house and feed in return for their work. Oma picked a wagon and the family was taken to Hoffnungstahl farm. It was a large farm that was owned by a man named Emil Lange. While they were there they became sick with Typhoid Fever and the whole family was taken in to the hospital.

During that time Opa was searching for his family and because they were in the hospital the Red Cross was able to reunite them. They worked for Emil for 2 years, he paid them with eggs, milk, potatoes and a bit of money. They also received ration cards which they could exchange for food and clothing. After the two years Oma and Opa went on to Rendsburger-Lager (camp) where they lived for 10 years.

- Contributed Anonymously

Abbau Landeck 1

No one thought of the complete destruction of the village in the
year 1945. As the capitulation of the armed forces became
unavoidable and the Soviets invaded into the German East, all family-
members went toward the west on the escape. At the 27th of January
1945, 30 families set off from Abbau Landeck I and Breitenfelde with
their own horse wagons in the late afternoon. The leader-wagon had
been worked to a type of trailer. Big carpetings were a warm basis,
two tubs were fully loaded with sausage, bread and potato-salad,
beds and clothing. With many strains and difficulties, the way
became with - 30 degrees cold begun.

Also my great-grandfather Karl Dummer drawn by illness in the
pension-age had to start the infinite march and also the 4-year old
niece Gudrun Buchholz - that usually on the cab of the wagon sat. In
Bartmannshagen, in the surroundings of Grimmen in Vorpommern, the
family found 1945 refugees for some weeks at the end of April. After
rumors all were able to go back on the farmsteads in the home
Pomerania again, the trek drove - meanwhile had shrunk to 16 wagons -
eastward. The Russians, who were on the advance westward, already
came towards us on the way. They stole also the last valuables.
Especially the proprietor Karl Janke was always picked out with
inspections of the Soviet soldiers. He had many cigars and also the
forester-schnapps with him. In this hard to find wares, the soldiers
were always interested.

At the 07. June 1945 reached Breitenfelde the trek. Inhabitants were
no longer admitted to Abbau Landeck. "There partisans!" was the
remark of the Russians.

The farmsteads were burned down and the village only consisted of
ruins. The last, still remained villagers were shot or were carried
off. About many, my grandmother has heard nothing more still does
not know if those people exist almost 60 years later. Through the
home county Schlochau and its newsletter we have been able to make
contacts to former Breitenfelders again. Of the former Abbau of
Landeck I, only sparse remains of ruins today remind one of the once
pulsating life. The Polish have left nature her way and so the
forest has already occupied everything. Back home wanted my
grandmother never more - too deep is the sad pictures from at that
time in the memory remained, as that first some years before
renovated building-complex completely burned out and declined lay there.

The graveyard was first devastated by the Red Army and then
according to statements of Gustav Grusewski, formerly of
Breitenfelde, that dead person-silence disturbed, and after
valuables in the shrines sought. Where was the dignity of the human
being - whether now dead or alive. The war has on all sides, left
big damages, that could be recompensed no longer, with all involved people.

In the consciousness of the peace over many decades, my grandmother
had put a cornerstone for her happy and carefree life of the next 58
years with the new beginning in Sutthausen at Osnabruck. My
grandfather, whom she found after end of war here soon, came also
from the former German eastern area from the province of lower Silesia.

Also my great-grandmother, who had to carry her husband in Göttingen-
Egelsberg near the refugee-hospital to grave, still spent
18 happy years with the security of the family. She has never been
able to overcome the loss of the home in Hinter-Pomerania, she has
let herself probably however always find the contentment the
expression over the successful new beginning.

The escape was 60 years ago and from that at that time escaped still
lives Edith Dummer, who married that Breitenfelder after the war
smith-son Erich Sonnenberg and lives in Mülheim/Ruhr, my great-aunt.
The eldest niece of my grandmother - Ilse Buchholz has found a new
home in Wismar and has married Manfred Koch from Schlochau.
Hildegard Janke, she married Otto Wolff from Hammerstein, her youth
was spent Landeck Abbau I. She lives in Lindow in the Mark
Brandenburg north of Berlin today.

For those who would like to remember, the homeland; for the Dummer-
Girls, the four sisters of my grandmother; and for my dear
grandmother Grete to memorialize.

Simon Neumann

Baldenburg Abbau

(Abbaus are farms that belong to a town but are not in the town itself)

Leaving Neuguth

by Adalbert Mikoteit

Escape from Schlochau

And a Return After 63 Years!

by Alfred Hauwe

The Fortress of Schlochau in 1943

The announcement form of the office Schlochau 1943

The military hospital in Schlochau in 1943 and 2008

Two views of Alfred Hauwe Senior in the Schlochau hospital

Alread Hauwe, Elke Henning and Bürschl the dachsund in front of
Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Strasse #3 in Spring 1944.
Alfred in the same spot 63 years later in 2008.

March of 1944 and June of 2008

The hospital hall

The fortress tower and wall in 1943 and 2008


The arrival of the trek from Damerau in Lübeck 1945. Photo from the
Schlochauer Heimat Stube in Northeim.

Germans from Russia in the refugee camp at Hammerstein 1929-30.
Photo from the Schlochauer Heimat Stube in Northeim.