Was interviewing Mamusia again the other day about the period after
the declaration of the 30th of July, 1941 "amnesty", and the
difficult southward journey out of posiolek Sorokanda (a subcamp of
Komarticha). Our Dziadzia, and several of the other heads of
household decided to attempt a journey to the Autonomous Volga-German
Soviet republic, their decision based on the excellent reputation
enjoyed by this area. The area south of the city of Saratov, on both
sides of the Volga river, contained many prosperous German towns,
villages, farms and manufacturing facilities.
They had no way of knowing, of course, that on 28th of August, 1941,
a decree of banishment had been issued by the Soviet government that
resulted in the abolition of the Volga-German republic. Many of the
men were drafted into the Soviet army, and women were sent to the
cities to work as domestic servants. All Germans in the USSR were
declared enemies of the state.
Mamusia couldn't remember (unusual for her) any of the names of the
other families on the attempted journey to the Volga-German republic.
Ultimately, the Russian authorities prohibited travel to the Volga-
German republic, and Mamusia's family found itself in Uzbekistan,
prior to our Dziadzia's enlistment in Ander's army.
Has anyone else heard from family members about attempted travel to
the Volga-German republic from Siberia?
Incidentally, to learn more about the Soviet Volga-German republic,
simply use Google (www.google.com) to search with the keywords "volga
germans". Lotsa good Web sites.
Andrzej (Polewski) Bender
Palo Alto, CA.